Saturday, August 20, 2005

More to come, promises McLaren 

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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