RÃ„IKKÃ–NEN SPEARHEADS MICHELIN ATTACK ON DAY ONE Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) was fastest Michelin runner - and second overall - on the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix meeting at Monza. The Finn lapped the historic ...
RÄIKKÖNEN SPEARHEADS MICHELIN ATTACK ON DAY ONE
Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) was fastest Michelin runner - and second overall - on the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix meeting at Monza. The Finn lapped the historic parkland track, which is staging its 54th F1 world championship race this weekend, in 1m 20.846s to top the second free practice session.
His time was slightly slower than world champion Michael Schumacher managed in cooler conditions during the morning. B*A*R reserve driver Anthony Davidson (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin) was third in the first session and fourth on aggregate.
Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda, fifth), Antonio Pizzonia (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, sixth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, seventh), Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, eight) and Fernando Alonso (Renault, ninth), Jarno Trulli (Renault, 10th), David Coulthard (Team McLaren Mercedes, 11th), Björn Wirdheim (Jaguar, 12th) and Ryan Briscoe (Toyota, 13rd) also reflected the competitive edge Michelin and its partner teams demonstrated during the recent Monza test.
Williams driver Antonio Pizzonia's second free practice session was cut short when he spun off and hit the tyre wall at the high-speed Parabolica curve. His car sustained substantial rear-end damage in the impact.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"As always, Friday is a little bit of a guessing game because we don't know what fuel levels teams were running at any given time. What I can say for certain, however, is that Michelin's dry-weather tyres have performed just as well as we anticipated they would in the wake of our successful pre-race test here."
"Our 'primary' and 'option' compounds have been both fast and consistent - and some of our partners have been able to produce almost identical levels of performance with the two different tyres. Our engineers will need to run through the data with a fine-toothed comb before any decisions can be made."
"So far, everything has run very smoothly. The only remaining question concerns the weather, because forecasters predict that there is a strong chance of rain on Sunday. But that holds no fears for us: as we proved at Spa two weeks ago, we are able to run competitively whatever the conditions."