DE LA ROSA SETS THE PACE â€“ MICHELIN AND McLAREN QUICKEST IN BOTH SESSIONS Pedro de la Rosa set the fastest time on the opening day of the French Grand Prix meeting at Magny-Cours. The McLaren-Mercedes Michelin tester was the only driver to dip...
DE LA ROSA SETS THE PACE – MICHELIN AND McLAREN QUICKEST IN BOTH SESSIONS
Pedro de la Rosa set the fastest time on the opening day of the French Grand Prix meeting at Magny-Cours. The McLaren-Mercedes Michelin tester was the only driver to dip below the 1m 15s barrier – and he did it in both sessions. His 1m 14.460s lap this afternoon put him 0.669s clear of team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya, the quickest of the regular racers.
World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) was third fastest on aggregate. Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, fifth) was best of the remaining Michelin drivers, ahead of Olivier Panis (Toyota, sixth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, seventh), Jarno Trulli (Toyota, ninth), Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes, 10th), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota, 11th) and Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda, 12th).
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
“Magny-Cours differs from some other circuits in that it offers good, consistent grip almost from the start of a race weekend. Its character tends not to change too dramatically as more rubber is laid down and we saw some very representative times being set during today’s first session."
“It is always nice to race on home soil, of course, but it doesn’t make a shred of difference to our preparations – we tackle every grand prix with exactly the same degree of commitment. People sometimes assume we have an unfair advantage in France, but that’s absolutely not the case because we don’t conduct F1 tests at Magny-Cours."
"“From our data, however, we can see that the tyres we are using this weekend – there are two compounds, each available with two subtly different constructions – are well suited to the conditions.”