Paddock Postcard from Magny-Cours 22 Jun 2008
Historical matters came to the fore here at Magny-Cours, as Kimi Raikkonen secured Scuderia Ferraris record-setting 200th pole position.
The French Grand Prix also marks the 100th anniversary of Mercedes-Benzs success with Christian Lautenschlager in the 1908 event. To celebrate that, McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen will demonstrate a 1908 Benz Grand Prix car today.
McLaren also took the opportunity on Friday night, just over 40 years after founder Bruce McLaren scored the marques first success at Spa-Francorchamps on June 9 1968, to launch a new Book: McLaren - The Cars 1964-2008. A large-format 304-page hardback written and illustrated by photographer William Taylor, it chronicles every McLaren ever built in exhaustive detail and includes a foreword from Ron Dennis and a postscript by Martin Whitmarsh. Each chapter covers a different decade and is introduced by the dominant McLaren driver of the era, such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
"I feel privileged to have worked alongside some truly brilliant people at McLaren these past 28 years, but it would be wrong to single out any of them," Dennis said. "Currently, I have 1300 colleagues, and each is as crucial as his or her colleague, however long or short his or her service with the company and however senior or junior his or her position within it. I have always said that I am a chapter in the book, not the book itself."
Bruno Senna was set to win Saturdays GP2 race from pole for iSport until a clutch slip problem put him behind ARTs Romain Grosjean, but when he also retired with a hydraulic problem up stepped veteran Giorgio Pantano for Racing Engineering. The result lifts the Italian to the lead of the series with 35 points to Sennas 26 and Grosjeans 19, while iSport retains a one-point lead over Racing Engineering (39 to 38) in the teams championship.
Lucas di Grassi was second from Pastor Maldonado, Vitaly Petrov, Andreas Zuber, Jerome dAmbrosio, Karun Chandhok and Mike Conway. Conway starts todays race from pole, as he did when he at the last meeting in Monaco.