The weather cleared slightly for the second free practice of the European Grand Prix after the earlier one was slowed by light rain. Track temperature was up to 23C and Mark Webber took an early trip into the gravel with a damaged suspension -- ...
The weather cleared slightly for the second free practice of the European Grand Prix after the earlier one was slowed by light rain. Track temperature was up to 23C and Mark Webber took an early trip into the gravel with a damaged suspension -- Minardi's future may be decided today after a meeting this afternoon about the money they are owed from last year's television income.
Sauber's Felipe Massa also took to the gravel while Kimi Raikkonen was the first improvement, up to third fastest. McLaren seemed more on the pace, David Coulthard joining team mate Raikkonen near the top. Olivier Panis and Jacques Villenueve were in the top ten, the new Honda engine waking up slightly but no vast improvement for BAR. Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa had a startling performance, up to ninth but Eddie Irvine stayed battling at the bottom with Minardi.
Barrichello's fastest time of 1:33.665 from the first session remained the benchmark until Jarno Trulli put his Renault ahead, shaving just a few hundredths off. Raikkonen took over, dropping the time down into the 1:32s, McLaren and Renault seeming to be the most improved in this session. Jordan and Toyota continued to be steady, as did Arrows but no remarkable performances. Barrichello went second fastest around half way through, then Michael Schumacher but Raikkonen remained top.
Sauber continued well but Williams and Jordan seemed to have fallen away from the earlier pace; Takuma Sato had a trip into the gravel while both Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya were outside the top ten until later in the session. Ralf and Montoya improved but it was McLaren who were trading the top times with Ferrari. Coulthard went fastest with a 1:31.886 while Alex Yoong had engine problems with his Minardi, touring the circuit very slowly until pulling into an escape road.
Another quiet session with no real surprises; the Ferraris were the only two Bridgestone runners in the top times by the end of the session, Michelin making the most of the track so far. Toyota put in a late effort, with Mika Salo up to ninth, while Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Renault were the top eight. Final top six classification: Coulthard, M. Schumacher, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Montoya, R. Schumacher.