Eddie Irvine: fourth, 1m 42.725, 40 laps, F399 chassis no. 196 Michael Schumacher: fifth, 1m 42.875, 37 laps, F399 chassis. No. 195 Jean Todt "This has been a different Friday to usual as we are at a new circuit. The two drivers worked on ...
Eddie Irvine: fourth, 1m 42.725, 40 laps, F399 chassis no. 196 Michael Schumacher: fifth, 1m 42.875, 37 laps, F399 chassis. No. 195
Jean Todt "This has been a different Friday to usual as we are at a new circuit. The two drivers worked on different programmes, both with the race in mind. In the break in the middle of the session, the exchange of views on the track between the two drivers allowed us to get a good balance on the cars for the second half of free practice. The team worked through its entire programme calmly and as planned. The car also handled well in the wet this morning. Tyre choice will be very important. In qualifying tomorrow, we will discover the true potential of our car. The engineers and drivers were all very favourably impressed with the new track."
Eddie Irvine "This is a very good circuit. It is extremely difficult, but enjoyable because of that. There are several blind corners where you cannot see the exit and there a lot of very long turns as well. Because there are so many corners and so many different types it is very difficult to balance the car. At the moment, it feels a bit loose at the rear, but that could be because the tyres are old. Tyre choice will be very difficult. Physically, the circuit is not very demanding and it is cooler in the car than out. The rain this morning didn't help, but we are in quite good shape. We just have to try and fine tune a few things tomorrow as there is still room for improvement."
Michael Schumacher "I am glad to say I felt absolutely no pain and so I was able to concentrate fully on the driving. The car is fun to drive on this circuit. The track is quite challenging, but nice with some interesting corners, which is rather unusual for a brand new circuit. Even in the wet, the surface seems to provide plenty of grip. We worked on set up today but the car is not quite there yet. As we are not far off the pace and have enough time to improve, I am confident for tomorrow."
Temperatures: air 26-28 °C, track 29-30 °C