ALONSO TAKES FIFTH STRAIGHT F1 POLE FOR MICHELIN World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) has qualified on pole position for the fifth consecutive grand prix - and the 14th time in his Formula One career - with a 1m 14.942s...
ALONSO TAKES FIFTH STRAIGHT F1 POLE FOR MICHELIN
World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) has qualified on pole position for the fifth consecutive grand prix - and the 14th time in his Formula One career - with a 1m 14.942s lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. The Spaniard will lead an all-Renault front row after pipping team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella by 0.236s. Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes) completed a Michelin clean sweep of the top three.
Six Michelin drivers from three partner teams have qualified in the top 10 for what could be a landmark race. Räikkönen's team -mate Juan Pablo Montoya starts seventh ahead of Jenson Button (Honda, eighth) and Rubens Barrichello (Honda, ninth). If Michelin records its seventh F1 win of the season tomorrow it will complete a historic century of grand prix victories.
Michelin drivers were on top in this morning's final free practice. Fernando Alonso (Renault) lapped in 1m 15.455s, fractionally faster than team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella. Jacques Villeneuve (BMW Sauber F1 Team), Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber F1 Team) and Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes) completed the all-Michelin top five.
Mark Webber (Williams) was the highest-profile casualty during the first part of today's qualifying shoot-out. Scott Speed (Toro Rosso/Michelin), Tiago Monteiro (MF1), Christijan Albers (MF1), Takuma Sato (Super Aguri) and Franck Montagny (Super Aguri) also stumbled at the first hurdle. Local favourite Jacques Villeneuve (BMW Sauber F1 Team/Michelin) was eliminated during part two, along with team-mate Nick Heidfeld, Christian Klien (Red Bull/Michelin), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso/Michelin) and David Coulthard (Red Bull/Michelin).
Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director:
"This is the second time this season that Michelin has wrapped up the top three grid positions - and that reflects the quality of performance we have seen from our products ever since we began running yesterday morning."
"Our partner teams spent a long time analysing the available data before committing to a final tyre choice and, ultimately, there will be five different Michelin products on the grid. The track has changed considerably since the first two free practice sessions, thanks to all the extra rubber that has been laid down, but Michelin's tyres have been consistent in terms of both performance and durability."
"We have seen no wear or graining problems during the first two days and the five different Michelin products appear to be very suitable for the conditions we expect tomorrow - the weather should be similar, but perhaps a degree of two warmer. We are definitely in good shape, but we need to see how the various strategies pan out as we endeavour to create a little history by scoring our 100th F1 success."
Team perspective on tyres
Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team:
"The Michelin tyres have been excellent this weekend, both in their single lap performance and on the longer runs we have conducted on Friday and today. Everything so far points to an extremely competitive race."