Saturday, August 20, 2005
McLaren drivers filled three of the top four places on the timesheets in the second and more meaningful of Friday’s practice sessions at Istanbul.
Morning pace-setter Pedro de la Rosa was second fastest in the afternoon ahead of race drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen.
The Woking-based team was pleased to have found a strong baseline set-up for the challenging new 3.3-mile track – but reckons some further fine-tuning should yield significantly faster lap times tomorrow.
“The car and our Michelin tyres are working well, but we all have to expect a hard race on Sunday,” said Montoya, who outpaced Raikkonen by three-quarters of a second.
“Michelin have brought a very good and consistent tyre for this event which is a definite advantage for us.
“We will keep on working tomorrow morning on making further improvements, and I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Raikkonen, who is desperate to make further inroads into Fernando Alonso’s 26-point championship lead this weekend, added: “The guys back at base have done a lot of work preparing for this weekend and as a result we seem to have arrived with a good basis.
“It’s still possible to improve the balance even more but so far, so good.
“It was a bit slippery out there particularly as there was a little bit of rain [in the afternoon session] which seemed to affect the grip levels a lot.
“Let’s see what happens tomorrow, but I think we are in good shape.”
De la Rosa completed his planned Friday programme despite stopping out on the circuit towards the end of the morning session due to a fuel pick-up problem."
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