BAR HEADS MICHELIN CHALLENGE AS F1 RETURNS TO EUROPE Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) was fastest Michelin driver on the opening day of free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix - the fourth round of the 2004 world championship and the first to take...
BAR HEADS MICHELIN CHALLENGE AS F1 RETURNS TO EUROPE
Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) was fastest Michelin driver on the opening day of free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix - the fourth round of the 2004 world championship and the first to take place in Europe this season. The Englishman, who currently lies third in the world championship, topped the times in today's second session - when conditions were similar to those drivers are likely to encounter in Sunday's race - and was second overall behind world champion Michael Schumacher (Ferrari).
Takuma Sato completed a BAR one-two in the afternoon session, when Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes, fourth), Jarno Trulli (Renault, fifth), leading test driver Anthony Davidson (BAR-Honda, sixth), Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, seventh) and Fernando Alonso (Renault, eighth) were also strongly placed.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"This has been a fascinating week. It began with our rider Valentino Rossi - with whom we have a long and close association - doing a spectacular job when he tested for Ferrari at Ferrari. We're very pleased for him as he is no doubt a truly remarkable talent. This is why we helped him in 2002 when he drove a WRC car."
"As for today, the track was in a very dirty, abrasive condition this morning but it evolved pretty quickly. We have done plenty of comparative running with all three of the dry-weather tyre compounds we brought to this race and our partner teams have plenty to think about as they pore over the information this evening. All our tyre options work well here and we will have to think carefully about how the circuit might evolve during the balance of the weekend."
"Regarding the latest FIA announcement about possible future rule changes, it is too early to give a reaction. We didn't know anything about it until today and there is plenty we have to sift through before making an official comment."