Ferrari in control of US GP Saturday practices

Michael Schumacher's dominance of the US Grand Prix practice sessions continued today as the reigning champion again topped the times in both free practices. Schumacher set a time half a second faster than last year's pole position, a 1:11.158, ...

Michael Schumacher's dominance of the US Grand Prix practice sessions continued today as the reigning champion again topped the times in both free practices. Schumacher set a time half a second faster than last year's pole position, a 1:11.158, while Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello was second fastest. The Brazilian had a trouble free day after crashing yesterday.

Eddie Irvine was third quickest after the second, continuing Jaguar's good performance. Pedro de la Rosa was twelfth, both drivers having problem free sessions. The Williams of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya were fourth and seventh respectively; Ralf had a minor off in the second practice but no real problems.

David Coulthard was fifth fastest, both McLaren drivers on the pace and in the front runners until Kimi Raikkonen crashed at turn 8 in the closing stages of the second session. The Finn was unhurt but the car had a damaged front suspension. He still managed eighth in the times. Nick Heidfeld was sixth for Sauber and temporary team mate Heinz-Harald Frenzen tenth.

Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella was ninth while Takuma Sato started his day with a bang. The Jordan's Honda engine exploded into flames on his first lap out; an ominous sign for Honda who lost five engines in total over the Spa weekend. Sato managed sixteenth after an engine change for the second session.

Mika Salo was the faster Toyota in eleventh, Allan McNish eighteenth and Jacques Villeneuve the quicker BAR in thirteenth, despite a spin, just ahead of Olivier Panis. Renault had a slow day, Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button fifteenth and seventeenth respectively.

Minardi bought up the rear, Mark Webber ahead of Alex Yoong and both had minor spins. A marginal improvement saw the pair two and a half seconds off the top times, which is better than they have been in recent race weekend practices. No real surprises in either session and Michael Schumacher looks to be heading for pole position in today's qualifying: Final top six classification: M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Irvine, R. Schumacher, Coulthard, Heidfeld.

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