RESILIENT ALONSO EXTENDS TITLE ADVANTAGE Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) finished second in today's Turkish Grand Prix to stretch his Formula One world championship lead to 12 points with just four races remaining. For 16 laps, the Spaniard...
RESILIENT ALONSO EXTENDS TITLE ADVANTAGE
Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) finished second in today's Turkish Grand Prix to stretch his Formula One world championship lead to 12 points with just four races remaining. For 16 laps, the Spaniard resisted intense pressure from arch-rival Michael Schumacher to reinforce his season- long points lead.
Several leading Michelin runners were delayed by a multiple pile-up at the first corner, but five of the company's drivers still managed to score points at the end of a gruelling race. Jenson Button (Honda) was fourth ahead of Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren Mercedes, fifth), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, sixth) and Rubens Barrichello (Honda, eighth).
Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director:
"To me those final 16 laps felt like the longest of the season. For the fans this has been a fantastic race from start to finish, but the battle between Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher was particularly outstanding. Fernando did an exceptional job to resist such pressure and strengthen his bid for a second consecutive F1 world title."
"From a technical perspective I'm very pleased with the way our tyres performed. We witnessed a little bit of graining during at the start of the stints, but generally our products held up very well in one of the season's most demanding races."
"We are now going to Monza for a one week test with a heavy program, looking at tyres choices for future Grands Prix but also looking at ways to improve our first lap performances. If successful this will open up new strategies for our partners."
Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team:
"Today's conditions were incredibly testing for tyres, with track temperatures in the mid-50s, and the long, long Turn Eight did its best to destroy them. Our Michelins held up brilliantly, not only to enable Fernando to beat Michael Schumacher but also to allow Giancarlo Fisichella to run a one- stop strategy."
"The F1 test ban is over now and we have some good ideas to try out before the next race at Monza."
Alain Dassas, Renault F1 Team president
"The spectators craved a good show and I believe they got one. This was a superb race. Fernando Alonso drove exceptionally and I'm really happy with this result. Michelin did a brilliant job, too, and our tyres performed perfectly during the race. Together, we have made huge strides forward in recent grands prix and I'd like to thank them."