De la Rosa top in Canadian GP first practice

De la Rosa top in Canadian GP first practice

McLaren third driver Pedro de la Rosa set the pace in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix with a best time of 1:16.415. Toyota counterpart Ricardo Zonta was second quickest, a tenth and a half down, and McLaren race driver Kimi...

McLaren third driver Pedro de la Rosa set the pace in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix with a best time of 1:16.415. Toyota counterpart Ricardo Zonta was second quickest, a tenth and a half down, and McLaren race driver Kimi Raikkonen was third on the time sheet.

Pedro de la Rosa.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Track temperature was approximately 40 degrees at the start of the session, with the air some 10 degrees lower. Zonta led the first cars out for installation laps, along with de la Rosa and a new third driver at Red Bull for this weekend and Indy, American Scott Speed.

Jordan is without a third car this weekend because at the European Grand Prix test driver Franck Montagny was found to have, in error, used more than the permitted sets of tyres during Friday practices. The FIA penalty was to ban the team from using the extra car in Canada.

The Minardis of Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher were also out quickly, along with Red Bull's Christian Klien, who returns to competition after a four race stint as third driver. Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro were also on track, as well as the Sauber of local hero Jacques Villeneuve.

Several others put in installation laps and after 10 minutes it was Zonta who set the first flyer, 1:22.689. He lowered it to 1:20.716 on his next effort and Speed slotted into second, some five seconds off. De la Rosa took over at the top by a tenth, 1:20.608, which he then dropped to 1:18.119 to leave Zonta nine tenths down.

Speed improved his time but was still four seconds off the pace and after a further 10 minutes Karthikeyan joined the time sheet in fourth, his time near enough the same as Speed's. Albers followed into fifth and Friesacher into sixth, both over five seconds off, while Karthikeyan improved to third marginally ahead of Speed.

Friesacher dropped his time below the five second deficit to move ahead of Albers, but as usual on a Friday morning there was little in the way of track action. Karthikeyan improved his time but stayed third then de la Rosa clocked 1:17.846. Zonta improved as well and closed the gap to within two tenths.

Monteiro joined in seventh then moved ahead of Albers for sixth and at the front de la Rosa dropped his time to 1:17.688. Michael Schumacher put his Ferrari third on his first flyer, then moved up one to second. Albers and Monteiro swapped places again and Raikkonen's McLaren took fourth, followed by Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari into fifth.

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya took the fifth spot off Barrichello but was himself demoted by the BAR of Takuma Sato. Teammate Jenson Button took sixth but Montoya dropped the pair of them by moving back up to fifth -- only to be demoted again, this time by Barrichello. The Brazilian didn't stay there long either, as Sato retook the spot.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen had moved up to the top, 1:17.505, and Montoya slotted in behind his teammate with a deficit of just five hundredths. Button improved to the popular fifth position and Speed moved back ahead of Karthikeyan, although now down in ninth place. De la Rosa moved back to the top with a 1:17.255 to make it McLaren one-two-three.

Klien finally got on the time sheet in 11th and de la Rosa dropped his time again to 1:16.957, half a second up on Raikkonen, but was immediately ousted by Michael's 1:16.87, just eight hundredths quicker. Zonta improved to third and Klien to 10th, while de la Rosa retaliated with a 1:16.478 to return to the top by four tenths.

De la Rosa stayed out for another flyer and clocked a marginally faster 1:16.457 and the Williams of Nick Heidfeld joined in ninth. The Red Bull of David Coulthard managed 12th and Sauber's Felipe Massa went one better for 11th, while Villeneuve finally set a time for 17th. Ralf Schumacher's Toyota took the 11th spot off Massa shortly afterwards.

Ralf's teammate Jarno Trulli posted 10th but had the position taken off him by Massa and de la Rosa improved yet again to 1:16.415. Heidfeld moved up to sixth and Zonta to second and the second Williams of Mark Webber clocked 11th, one ahead of the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella. Fisichella then jumped up to sixth.

Montoya improved to fourth after being moved down the order and Sato to fifth, followed by Raikkonen up to third. Michael also climbed the order, back up to fifth, while teammate Barrichello was ninth. At the close of the session only Renault's Fernando Alonso had not set a time.

An unremarkable first practice, in which McLaren looked very quick and BAR was not too far off the pace. However, as always on a Friday morning, there's not really much to judge on. Final top eight classification: De la Rosa, Zonta, Raikkonen, Button, M. Schumacher, Montoya, Fisichella, Sato.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan