Ralf leads Michael in Hungarian GP Saturday practices

A Schumacher at the top is no surprise and in the Saturday practices for the Hungarian Grand Prix it was Ralf leading Michael by three tenths of a second. The Williams driver set a best of 1:21.939 and the Ferrari a 1:22.313; the second Ferrari of...

A Schumacher at the top is no surprise and in the Saturday practices for the Hungarian Grand Prix it was Ralf leading Michael by three tenths of a second. The Williams driver set a best of 1:21.939 and the Ferrari a 1:22.313; the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello was third quickest.

Fastest in practice yesterday, Olivier Panis was the first to set a time, a 1:28.134 for the Toyota but an unrepresentative time initially. Ralf bought it down to 1:25.587 and Williams teammate Juan Pablo Montoya better still with 1:24.883. Barrichello was next to the top, the Ferrari setting a more realistic 1:23.957.

The activity was interrupted by Ralph Firman paying a rather heavy visit to the tyre barrier at turn five, after his rear wing failed. The Jordan went backwards into the tyres and impacted quite hard and the session was red-flagged. Firman was out of the car but seemed quite shaken and was taken to the medical centre for checks.

It was nearly twenty minutes before the session was restarted and Michael Schumacher took the top spot with a 1:23.866. He was deposed by Jarno Trulli, 1:23.796 for the Renault and Trulli in turn was edged out by teammate Fernando Alonso with a 1:22.950. Minardi's Nicolas Kiesa compounded his so far dismal weekend by coming to a halt in the second sector at the end of the session.

Toyota's Cristiano da Matta was first to the top in the second session, 1:25.657, followed by the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen; 1:24.563. The Finn was immediately replaced by Trulli, Michael Shumacher and Ralf Schumacher in quick succession. Ralf briefly held the top with a 1:23.178 but then was eclipsed by Michael with 1:22.330, over eight tenths quicker.

David Coulthard and earlier leader Alonso were third and fourth, the two Toyotas and the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve making up the top ten. Montoya moved up to third behind the pair of Schumachers and Raikkonen to seventh. Barrichello took second from Ralf and Mark Webber improved to third, the Jaguar just a few tenths off the Ferrari.

Ralf returned to the top with a 1:21.939, the first man into the 1:21 bracket all weekend and nearly four tenths better than Schumacher Senior. Raikkonen and Trulli improved to fifth and sixth respectively and Michael bettered his time but remained second. Further down the field Sauber's Nick Heidfeld made it into the top ten and the pair of BARs were just outside. The Toyotas, strong in yesterday's practice, were off the pace in thirteenth and fifteenth then da Matta came to a halt in the second sector.

Justin Wilson improved to eleventh and in the final moments there was a small burst of activity. Coulthard moved up to seventh and Panis to tenth; Alonso made sixth quickest and Button eleventh. Jos Verstappen also came to a halt on track, not an auspicious start to the day for Minardi.

Montoya improved to fourth but Ralf remained solid at the top from Michael and Barrichello. Final top eight classification: R. Schumacher, M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Montoya, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Trulli.

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