MONTOYA ON THE FRONT ROW WITH MICHELIN Juan Pablo Montoya has qualified his Michelin-shod Williams-BMW on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The Colombian, who scored his maiden Formula One victory here in...
MONTOYA ON THE FRONT ROW WITH MICHELIN
Juan Pablo Montoya has qualified his Michelin-shod Williams-BMW on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The Colombian, who scored his maiden Formula One victory here in 2001, lapped in 1m 20.620s. Earlier, during pre-qualifying, he posted a 1m 19.525s - the fastest lap in F1 history at 262.242km/h (162.949mph).
Michelin will have its customary strength in depth at the front of the field. All six of the company's partner teams are represented in the top 12. Fernando Alonso (Renault) was fourth fastest, ahead of Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, fifth), Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda, sixth), Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes, seventh), Antonio Pizzonia (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, eighth), Jarno Trulli (Renault, ninth), David Coulthard (Team McLaren Mercedes, 10th), Ricardo Zonta (Toyota, 11th) and Mark Webber (Jaguar Racing, 12th).
Minardi driver Zsolt Baumgartner has been involved in a spectacular collision for the second time in as many races. The Hungarian's Saturday free practice ended when Jordan rival Giorgio Pantano lost control and speared into him, forcing both cars off the track. Neither driver was injured. Baumgartner retired from the recent Belgian GP when he was rammed by Jenson Button's spinning B*A*R-Honda.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"Our partner teams got through an enormous amount of work and our tyres have consistently shown the same blend of speed and consistency that was evident both yesterday and during last week's test. Obviously I don't know what fuel loads our main competitors are running, but I am confident that several of our partner teams have the capacity to challenge for victory tomorrow."
"The track has not changed a great deal this weekend - but that's a traditional facet of Monza. Circuits with a greater number of corners are always prone to evolve more than somewhere with so many long straights."
"There remains a risk that things could change dramatically tomorrow. Rain remains a strong possibility, particularly in the morning. It is worth noting that the circuit takes a long time to dry properly here, because so much of the lap is surrounded by overhanging trees. If the adverse conditions hold off, the Michelin teams will use three different types of dry-weather tyre in the race."