Sunday, June 25, 2006

Formula One Starts In Montreal

Saturday's Qualifing Notes

Excerpts from -

Canadian GP: Renault Saturdy qualifying notes
2006-06-24 -- An all-Renault front row with Fernando ahead of Giancarlo in Montreal.

The Renault F1 Team locked out the front row for the Canadian Grand Prix during qualifying today at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with Fernando Alonso on pole position and Giancarlo Fisichella second. This was the team's second all-Renault front row of the 2006 season, following on from the Spanish Grand Prix last month, and Fernando's fifth consecutive pole position, continuing a run that began at the Nurburgring.

Qualifying confirmed the strong performances both drivers had put in throughout the weekend. They tuned the car set-up throughout practice to adapt to changing circuit conditions as the track rubbered in, and the R26 has performed faultlessly. The car balance has been neutral, giving them confidence to attack the chicanes and braking zones.

Tomorrow's race is expected to be run in hot conditions which will suit the team's Michelin tyres. They have performed excellently all weekend, offering a competitive blend of first-lap performance and long-run consistency, and both Renault drivers hope to make best use of those qualities to fight for the race win tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso, Pole position:

"Five pole positions in a row is something I have never experienced and it is a fantastic feeling. The competition between myself, Fisico and Raikkonen has been very close all weekend, and that was how it turned out in qualifying this afternoon. The car has felt very good from the first lap we did on Friday, and we have only had to tune it to adapt to the changing grip conditions."

"We needed to run at the end in qualifying because the track was improving all the time, and this result was perfect. To have an all-Renault front row at the ninth race shows how hard the whole team is pushing to develop the car at the moment, and they can be proud of the work they are doing. Now, we need to finish the job tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichella, 2nd position:

"I was really pleased with the performance today -- it's fantastic to have a Renault one-two in qualifying. I made a change to the car right before my last flying lap to add a bit more front wing and after that, the balance felt really good."

"Now we have to see what tomorrow brings, but I know that we have a good strategy and the perfect starting position. We have a great chance to win the race, and maybe we will want a one-two finish there as well."
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Schumacher and Farrari will be waiting in the wings (having qualified fifth), hoping for some kind of terminal failure ... but he will probably be waiting ALL season.

Michael Schumacher, 5th position:

"Obviously, we can't be happy with this result, especially in the light of the championship situation. We have made some progress compared with yesterday, but we are still suffering from a lack of grip. This could be down to the car, the tyres or the set-up: at the moment we cannot be sure which. What is sure is that starting from fifth on the grid we can expect a very tough race. Seventy laps are a lot and yes, anything can happen. For our part, all we can do is give it our best shot and try and exploit any opportunity that presents itself."
Farrari Notes>>

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