Spanish GP: Michelin Saturday qualifying notes

MICHELIN AND RENAULT TAKE FRONT-ROW CLEAN SWEEP World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) has taken his second straight pole position - and the 11th of his Formula One career - ahead of his home grand prix at Barcelona's...

MICHELIN AND RENAULT TAKE FRONT-ROW CLEAN SWEEP

World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) has taken his second straight pole position - and the 11th of his Formula One career - ahead of his home grand prix at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. He lapped the 4.627-kilometre (2.875- mile) circuit in 1m 14.648s to pip team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella by just 0.061s.

The Renault stars were fastest of a strong Michelin contingent in the top 10. Rubens Barrichello (Honda) set fourth fastest time ahead of Jenson Button (Honda, eighth), Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes, ninth) and Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber F1 Team, tenth). Alonso's pole is his first in Spain and Michelin's 104th in the F1 world championship.

Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director:

"Between them, our six partner teams have opted for three of the four vailable tyre specifications and all have performed according to expectations. This morning's rain shower hasn't significantly affected track conditions. We have been able to generate consistent pace on long runs and today's qualifying session underlined that we have strong first-lap performance, too."

"It is very satisfying to put two cars on the front row and we believe several of our partners will be very strong in the race, although we appreciate that it is likely to be a tight contest. Detail differences in race strategy are sure to influence the final outcome, but we are in a confident frame of mind because we know our products are very competitive."

Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team:

"We have been very pleased with the long -run consistency of our Michelin tyres throughout practice and our qualifying pace proved the strength of their first-lap performance. We are poised for a very exciting race."

-michelin-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Nick Heidfeld , Fernando Alonso
Teams Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Renault F1 Team