McLaren now best of the rest?

McLaren has qualified top Michelin runners for the second time in three races at Indianapolis and looks set to take best of the rest honours behind the dominant Ferraris.

McLaren now best of the rest?

"I think Mercedes and Ilmor have certainly improved the performance of the engine and we've seen better qualifying tyres," explained team boss Ron Dennis. "I think the race tyre that we had in the last two events is a more stable tyre and we should be able to carry some of that qualifying performance through to the race.

"We are also in the fortunate position of being able to race in the same configuration of car and engine that we qualified, and not all the other team are able to do that. So, all things being equal, so long as it's a nice warm day I think we should have a reasonable race."

It was noticeable that as the ambient temperature rose in qualifying, the McLarens, noted for their sparing used of rear Michelins, went well, whereas Jaguar, Renault and Toyota all lost grip.

"I think both David [Coulthard] and Kimi [Raikkonen] could have gone quicker," Dennis claimed. "We were tuning the car throughout the session and probably if at the beginning, we had had the car in the same configuration that we finished it, we would have been quicker.

"Michael [Schumacher] actually did his pole lap when the yellow was out, but because he hadn't actually completed a lap before then, it was allowed, whereas Kimi lifted on a lap which I think would have been a 1m11.2s or something like it."

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