Barrichello best in Austrian GP final practice

Rubens Barrichello set the best time in the final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, the Brazilian clocking a 1:09.241 just six hundredths of a second ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. While Ferrari had been dominant in the earlier session, Williams...

Rubens Barrichello set the best time in the final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, the Brazilian clocking a 1:09.241 just six hundredths of a second ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. While Ferrari had been dominant in the earlier session, Williams made a comeback in the second to fight the Scuderia for the top.

Michael topped the times in the first practice with a 1:09.340, with Barrichello close behind. BAR again looked on the pace, Jacques Villeneuve setting the third quickest time behind the pair of Ferraris and Renault's Fernando Alonso fourth.

The second session started rather quietly, Ralf Schumacher and Cristiano da Matta the first to improve their times. Third fastest was the fought over spot initially, Jarno Trulli taking it from Villeneuve only to have the Canadian snatch it back. Juan Pablo Montoya was the next to take the position while Villeneuve had a trip over the grass.

Michael Schumacher had a couple of spins and retreated to the pits and teammate Rubens Barrichello went to the top of the times with a 1:09.241. Olivier Panis improved to twelfth, his best of the weekend so far for Toyota. Mark Webber was the lead Jaguar in seventh and Nick Heidfeld and Giancarlo Fisichella both made the top ten.

Outside the first ten, David Coulthard was languishing in fifteenth and the Minardis occupied their traditional back places. In the final minutes Montoya gave it one last effort and hurled the Williams in between the Ferraris. Ralf Schumacher also improved, up to fourth and Jarno Trulli went up to fifth.

The top ten were all within a second of Barrichello and the top three separated by less than a tenth. Ferrari is looking very strong but Williams is picking up its game rapidly. McLaren is confusing, Kimi Raikkonen in the top ten but Coulthard way down the grid.

Qualifying promises to be interesting; the A1-Ring is not really suited to Renault but BAR and Jaguar have pace in Austria. The fight looks to be between Ferrari and Williams and whoever gets pole position, it probably won't be by much. Final top eight classification: Barrichello, Montoya, M. Schumacher, R. Schumacher, Trulli, Villeneuve, Raikkonen, Webber.

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