De la Rosa stays fastest on Canadian GP Friday

De la Rosa stays fastest on Canadian GP Friday

Pedro de la Rosa was back at the top of the time sheet in the second practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, his time of 1:14.662 over a second and a half quicker than his best in the morning. McLaren's third driver was a couple of tenths up...

Pedro de la Rosa was back at the top of the time sheet in the second practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, his time of 1:14.662 over a second and a half quicker than his best in the morning. McLaren's third driver was a couple of tenths up on Toyota No.3 Ricardo Zonta in second, and Renault's Fernando Alonso was third.

Pedro de la Rosa.
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The track temperature was in the mid forties as Zonta, de la Rosa and Red Bull third driver Scott Speed led out at the start of the session. The Jordans of Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro were also quickly out, along with the Minardi of Patrick Friesacher and Sauber's Felipe Massa.

Red Bull's Christian Klien and the second Minardi of Christijan Albers were next to venture out, while Zonta clocked the first flyer of the afternoon, 1:18.979. De la Rosa swiftly eclipsed him with a 1:18.807, with Friesacher and Speed taking third and fourth respectively. Karthikeyan demoted them both when he took third.

Zonta went back to the top, 1:18.767, only to find himself ousted again by de la Rosa, 1:18.272 for the McLaren. Massa slotted into third and Alonso took the top spot oh his first flyer of the day, 1:17.844. It was short lived as Zonta retaliated with a 1:17.317 and Alonso was demoted further by teammate Fisichella taking second.

Jenson Button put his BAR fifth and Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren slotted into seventh, followed by the Williams of Mark Webber in eighth. De la Rosa improved to fourth after being moved down the order and David Coulthard's Red Bull joined in 11th. Webber was next to the top, 1:17.088, but was replaced by BAR's Takuma Sato, 1:16.823.

Michael Schumacher's Ferrari appeared in third and Nick Heidfeld's Williams in fifth. De la Rosa returned to the top, 1:16.575, and Ralf Schumacher's Toyota managed seventh on his first effort. Teammate Jarno Trulli posted ninth, then Ralf moved up to seventh ahead of brother Michael. Heidfeld also climbed one to fourth.

After the first 15 minutes of frantic activity it calmed down a little. Juan Pablo Montoya set fastest sectors across the board to put his McLaren at the top on his first flyer, 1:16.565, just one hundredth up on de la Rosa. Montoya didn't stay there long as Alonso demoted him straight away with a 1:16.209.

Zonta moved back up to second while further down Button and Massa improved in tandem to 11th and 12th respectively after being shuffled down the times. Zonta stayed out for another flyer and took over at the top, 1:16.173, marginally ahead of the Renault. De la Rosa was next to post fastest sectors right through for 1:15.280, first into the 1:15 bracket.

Jacques Villeneuve's Sauber took 15th on his first effort and Fisichella improved to second, while Button moved back up the times to seventh, Raikkonen did likewise, up to third, but Speed came to a halt in the first sector after a spin and bought out the yellow flags for a short time. When the track went green Raikkonen was the first to move, up to second.

Webber improved to ninth after being shifted down the times and Zonta took over second from Raikkonen. De la Rosa upped the ante again with a 1:14.662 and Montoya slotted into second behind his teammate, just under a second down. Alonso and Barrichello improved in formation to sixth and seventh, many drivers going up and down the order.

Massa climbed to eighth from outside the top ten and Alonso stayed out for another go to improve again to third. At the back of the field Friesacher was leading the Minardis and Jordans in 19th, with Klien and Villeneuve just ahead in 18th and 17th respectively. They were preceded by Coulthard 16th, then Michael and Ralf 15th and 14th.

Villeneuve improved to ninth, one ahead of Massa, while Alonso bettered his time to move up one to second, seven tenths off de la Rosa. Ralf dragged himself out of the midfield to eighth and Zonta clocked the fastest middle sector yet to move up to second. Raikkonen went up to fifth behind teammate Montoya but there was little change in the order.

McLaren and Renault certainly look the most competitive again -- after the two third drivers, de la Rosa and Zonta, the next four positions were occupied by the race drivers from those two teams, who had consistently been near the top. They were followed by the two BARs, which appeared fairly on the pace.

There was none particularly notable aside from that; Toyota was reasonable and Sauber not too bad but Williams and Ferrari seemed off the pace, as did Red Bull. However, we could see things change in qualifying. Final top eight classification: De la Rosa, Zonta, Alonso, Montoya, Raikkonen, Fisichella, Button, Sato.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , David Coulthard , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Ricardo Zonta , Fernando Alonso , Narain Karthikeyan , Christijan Albers , Felipe Massa , Tiago Monteiro , Scott Speed , Patrick Friesacher , Christian Klien
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan