COULTHARD SPEARHEADS MICHELIN CHALLENGE Ferrari drivers Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher roared to the team's seventh one-two finish of the season in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The result secures Barrichello second ...
COULTHARD SPEARHEADS MICHELIN CHALLENGE
Ferrari drivers Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher roared to the team's seventh one-two finish of the season in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The result secures Barrichello second place this year's world championship. The fight for third will go down to the wire, however, after David Coulthard (West McLaren-Mercedes) beat the Williams-BMWs to finish third and best of the Michelin runners.
The Scot opted to make just one pit stop as opposed to the Ferraris' two, but he just failed to get ahead of the Italian cars when they pitted for the first time and after that the result was never in doubt."For the last 40 laps, I was not pushing as hard as I could have done because I chose to look after my engine" said David.
Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW Williamsf1 Team) finished fourth on a one-stop strategy. The Colombian lost time on the second lap when his team-mate Ralf Schumacher spun and pushed him off the track. Montoya recovered, however, and was closing on Coulthard at the end. Schumacher Jnr lost his rear wing in the incident and spent the rest of the afternoon at the tail of the field after pitting for repairs.
Jarno Trulli (Renault F1, fifth) was best of the remaining Michelin runners, ahead of Jenson Button (Renault F1, eighth), Eddie Irvine (Jaguar Racing, 10th), Mika Salo (Panasonic Toyota Racing, 14th), Allan McNish (Panasonic Toyota Racing, 15th) and Schumacher (16th). It was Trulli's second straight points finish and he has moved up to eighth place in the championship for drivers.
The other Michelin drivers failed to finish due to a variety of technical problems. Mark Webber (KL Minardi-Asiatech) ran strongly in the opening stages but pulled off with a power steering problem. His team-mate Alex Yoong put in one of his strongest performances of the season but was forced to retire with engine failure. Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes) ran in the top six but suffered a misfire in the early stages and his engine eventually blew up. Transmission problems forced Pedro de la Rosa (Jaguar) to record the first retirement of the afternoon.
Michelin's day: Pierre Dupasquier, motorsport director
David Coulthard was Michelin's best-placed driver today, in third place, and you had three cars in the top six. You might not have won but you look pretty upbeat about the result...
"Absolutely -- I am really pleased with the way our tyres have performed this weekend. I would go so far as to say that this was our strongest performance of the year, even though we didn't win. Our quickest four cars were all slowed a lit tle by various factors. David Coulthard and Kimi Räikkönen were managing their engine and the two Williams-BMWs were slowed by their collision on lap two. The important thing is that our tyres were quick and consistent on a one-stop strategy and showed no signs of serious wear, what was definitely not the case for our rival even on two stops strategies. In many ways this has been a very successful days for us."
All Michelin's drivers opted to run with your harder, primary (A) tyre. Is there anything you could have done to extract even more performance this weekend?
"We only completed a limited amount of running with this compound before the United States Grand Prix. I believe we are clearly working in the right direction and need only a little bit of fine-tuning to take the next step forward."
Do you have any particular developments in mind for the final race of the season in Japan?
"We will begin working on that immediately. We have not finalised our dry-weather compounds for Suzuka yet, but it's safe to say we will be relying on tyres from the same family that has proved to be so effective during the past few grands prix"