French GP: Michelin Friday practice notes

Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team/Michelin) set the pace in first two free practice sessions ahead of Sunday's French Grand Prix. The BMW Sauber test driver was the only man to break the 1m 17s barrier all day: he posted a 1m 16.794s this morning...

Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team/Michelin) set the pace in first two free practice sessions ahead of Sunday's French Grand Prix. The BMW Sauber test driver was the only man to break the 1m 17s barrier all day: he posted a 1m 16.794s this morning and a 1m 16.902s this afternoon. Anthony Davidson (Honda) and world championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault) were second and third on aggregate as Michelin's partner teams completed a clean sweep of the top three.

Michelin partner BMW Sauber is running with innovative vertical wings this weekend. They are mounted just forward of the cockpit and are designed to optimise airflow towards the rear wing.

Rubens Barrichello (Honda/Michelin) missed most of this afternoon's session after spinning into the tyre wall at the first of Magny-Cours' three chicanes. American Scott Speed (Toro Rosso/Michelin) came to grief at the same spot 20 minutes later.

In his first race since replacing NASCAR-bound former McLaren star Juan Pablo Montoya, Pedro de la Rosa did not set a time this morning and was 22nd fastest this afternoon.

Michelin's day
Nick Shorrock, Michelin Formula One director:

"So far, track conditions have been very similar to those we encountered at Jerez, in Spain, while conducting pre-event testing for this race. That said, however, today's free practice sessions have thrown up a number of interesting - and occasionally conflicting - results, not just from team to team but sometimes between team-mates."

"Our partners had some very specific requirements this weekend and, as a result, we have 10 different products split between our six teams. It is clear that we are able to produce a good blend of strong first-lap pace and long-run consistency, but which tyres should our teams choose for Sunday? It's going to be a close call, so while we have completed lots of valuable work today it is clear that we still have plenty more to do."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Rubens Barrichello , Anthony Davidson , Fernando Alonso , Scott Speed , Robert Kubica
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso