MICHELIN DRIVERS SET PACE ON OPENING DAY Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) lapped in 1m 29.355s on the opening day of free practice in the Grand Prix of Europe -- more than two seconds faster than his pole position time at last...
MICHELIN DRIVERS SET PACE ON OPENING DAY
Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) lapped in 1m 29.355s on the opening day of free practice in the Grand Prix of Europe -- more than two seconds faster than his pole position time at last season's corresponding fixture. Anthony Davidson (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin) was quickest in the morning session and second overall -- despite not having driven at the Nürburgring before.
Davidson's team-mate Jenson Button was third overall and several other Michelin drivers were well placed on aggregate, including Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, fifth), David Coulthard (Team McLaren Mercedes, sixth), Jarno Trulli (Renault, eighth), Fernando Alonso (Renault, ninth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, 10th), Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, 11th) and Mark Webber (Jaguar, 12th).
Several drivers spin in tricky early-morning conditions -- including world champion Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) and Monaco GP winner Jarno Trulli. Unpredictable Nürburgring throws up the chilliest conditions of the season so far.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin Motorsport Director:
"The track was very dirty and slippery this morning -- that was obvious because we saw a number of leading drivers spinning off. This had an effect on tyres, too -- the wear rate was initially quite high for everybody because cars were sliding around so much. There was not a great deal of difference between the fastest lap times from the two sessions, but the track has evolved quite dramatically and will doubtless continue to do so between now and Sunday. So far all our dry-weather tyre compounds have been fast and consistent in equal measure, so our six partner teams will have to bear the track's impending evolution in mind very carefully when making their final tyre choice."