Behind the Barriers: USGP day two

Michael Schumacher on his spin in Friday's practice, "It seems the track, which is very wide here, was not actually wide enough at that moment." Although Schumacher was disappointed with his results from the first day on practice, he feels he's...

Michael Schumacher on his spin in Friday's practice, "It seems the track, which is very wide here, was not actually wide enough at that moment." Although Schumacher was disappointed with his results from the first day on practice, he feels he's "on the pace" and "will be able to fight for both the pole and race win."

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BAR Honda test driver Anthony Davidson surprised everyone by posting the third fastest lap in Friday's morning session, behind the two Ferraris. In the afternoon, Davidson split the Ferraris, ending up second fastest on the day. "Driving for the first time at Indianapolis has been every bit as exciting as I thought it would be," said Davidson, who, as a test driver, is only eligible to participate in Friday's two practice sessions. "It's an interesting track and the long straights create good overtaking opportunities. I've never overtaken as many cars in a practice session as I have today."

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Indy Racing League visitors to the paddock on Friday included IndyCar Series drivers Felipe Giaffone, Kosuke Matsuura, Roger Yasukawa and Helio Castroneves. Giaffone is hosting Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello at his Indianapolis home this weekend. Mark Taylor, driver of the Chevrolet-powered Dallara Menards car in IndyCar Series competition is driving in the Porsche SuperCup races this weekend. Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers Thiago Medeiros and Phil Giebler visited the Formula One paddock, while IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal is here to keep an eye on son Graham, who's racing in the Formula BMW USA events. Team owners John Barnes of Panther Racing, Sam Schmidt and Chip Ganassi, who owns teams in the IndyCar Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup, were also seen enjoying the atmosphere of the Formula One paddock.

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Target Chip Ganassi's, Mike Hull acknowledged he spent some of yesterday and this morning watching the Formula One cars at work in the turns. He is particularly impressed with the braking and cornering speeds of these machines, and thinks the mid-corner acceleration is extraordinary. Where Jeff Gordon was advised last year during "Tradin' Paint" to use the 50mm sign as his braking point for corner one, Hull thinks the current F1 cars are braking between that sign and the first turn, an eye-opener for Ganassi's managing director. After F1 qualifying Hull and team owner Chip Ganassi were scheduled to fly to work: Ganassi to Michigan for the NASCAR Nextel race and Hull to Watkins Glen for the six-hour Rolex Grand-American event, both of which take place tomorrow. Hull's two Grand-Am cars take part in a 15-minute qualifying session this afternoon on the Glen's long course and have no warm-up prior to their endurance sprint race (his term).

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Roger Yasukawa has been walking and working the F1 paddock this weekend as he continues to search for work. Yasukawa, who finished 10th at the 88th Indy 500 in a two-race with Rahal Letterman Racing, is hoping to persuade sponsor Sammy to contest the final three races of the season. The gaming company, which recently completed the purchase of Sega, has headquarters in the Chicago area, making the Joliet race a "home" event for them. Of course Fontana (at California Speedway) is the home event for Yasukawa, the Japanese driver who lives in Southern California. Contesting those two races would give Yasukawa some momentum heading into the Texas Motor Speedway finale. Yasukawa is jetting back to Japan for meetings this week, but will be back in the IRL paddock for Kansas.

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Ray-Ban sunglasses have announced a partnership with the BAR Honda team. As part of their new global communications campaign, BAR Honda cars will display the Ray Ban signature on the cockpit sides as well as on the helmets of drivers Jenson Button, Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Jeff Gordon , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Anthony Davidson , Mark Taylor , Felipe Giaffone , Helio Castroneves , Bobby Rahal , Sam Schmidt , Roger Yasukawa , Kosuke Matsuura , Chip Ganassi , Phil Giebler , Mike Hull , John Barnes , Thiago Medeiros
Teams Ferrari , Panther Racing