F1

More rain for Australian GP warm-up

More rain for Australian GP warm-up

After the chaos of yesterday's wet qualifying, today's warm up session for the Australian GP did not fare much better. Dark clouds were overhead and conditions were cool and wet as the teams made preparations for the race. Several cars took the...

After the chaos of yesterday's wet qualifying, today's warm up session for the Australian GP did not fare much better. Dark clouds were overhead and conditions were cool and wet as the teams made preparations for the race. Several cars took the the track as soon as the pit lane opened to complete an installation lap or two -- Sauber's Felipe Massa ran into problems straight away, although managed to make it back to the pits. Montoya set the first fastest time, a 1.46.929 which was well off the pace of early qualifying times.

Michael Schumacher.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.

The spray from the track made visibility hard and Michael Schumacher aborted his first lap out, Massa returned to the track in the spare car but that also seemed to have problems. Montoya held the top of the times for a while as positions changed rapidly, Jordan's Takuma Sato looked better after his disaterous qualifying. Both BARs made regular showings in the top ten and Jaguar improved to fifth at one point after their poor performance yesterday.

Michael Schumacher took over the top of the times about half way through the session, despite a quick trip over the grass. McLaren's David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen both had minor offs but that didn't prevent them from being well up the order. Toyota and Minardi both looked promising, as did Jaguar, all seemed improved which suggests that Michelin are good in the wet, only the intermediate tyres in mixed conditions give them some concerns. Williams seemed slightly off the pace while other Michelin runners McLaren looked fine all session.

Massa finally took the track again after his gremlins and managed to post a time. There were a few spins and minor offs in the wet conditions but nothing drastic until the final minute when Salo crashed. Luckily it was minor, he lost the front wing after hitting the barrier and that was the end of the session.

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