Irvine closing on Schumacher in second US GP practice

The weather remained clear and the track dry for the second free practice of the US Grand Prix where Michael Schumacher remained unshakeable from the top of the times. Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello did not take part in the session after ...

The weather remained clear and the track dry for the second free practice of the US Grand Prix where Michael Schumacher remained unshakeable from the top of the times. Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello did not take part in the session after damaging his car heavily in the earlier practice. Michael was one of the first to improve his time to 1:14.072.

Brother Ralf also improved early on, up to second after a dismal first practice in which he damaged his car in spin. Michael spun in this session, as did Takuma Sato and Juan Pablo Montoya but no damage was done. Alex Yoong, Olivier Panis and Jenson Button all had off track excursions with the slippery surface.

While Michael held the top slot, there were some fights going on behind him. Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella kept his earlier pace in the front runners and Nick Heidfeld took second quickest from Ralf, swiftly followed by Eddie Irvine -- the Irishman the only other driver to drop into the 1:14 bracket along with Michael. Jacques Villeneuve improved to a surprising third fastest and Allan McNish also bettered his time from the first session, up to eleventh. Toyota team mate Mika Salo stayed comfortably in the top ten.

McLaren finally showed better form for, Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard taking third in succession on new sets of Michelin tyres. Michael improved down to a 1:13.548, Irvine hot on his heels of his ex-team mate but not quite edging into the 1:13 himself. Heinz-Harald Frentzen continued to keep the pace for Sauber, up to sixth and ahead of Nick Heidfeld for the first time.

Irvine and Trulli joined in the spinning, Yoong also had another go and in the final minutes Montoya and Button both pulled off track and ground to a halt. An active session with some improvements and some backward steps. Jaguar again showed pace and McLaren picked up from the earlier session while Renault and Jordan dropped back slightly. Final top six classification: M. Schumacher, Irvine, Coulthard, Raikkonen, Villeneuve, Frentzen.

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