Mika leads in Monaco free practice Mika Hakkinen led the times in free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix in an afternoon dominated by flags and spins. The West McLaren Mercedes driver went quickest with a 1:19.853, followed by Michael...
Mika leads in Monaco free practice
Mika Hakkinen led the times in free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix in an afternoon dominated by flags and spins. The West McLaren Mercedes driver went quickest with a 1:19.853, followed by Michael Schumacher just under half a second behind.
Ralf Schumacher was third fastest for BMW Williams, with Rubens Barrichello fourth in the other Ferrari. Jarno Trulli was fifth and his teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen ended the day seventh, following an encouraging morning session for B&H Jordan Honda. Last year's winner David Coulthard was sixth fastest.
Monaco is also the only race of the season where free practice is held on Thursday instead of Friday, allowing more preparation time for Saturday's qualifying session.
Adrian Newey - Technical Director - West McLaren Mercedes
"Bridgestone has been quite adventurous with the tyres for this circuit with some soft compounds, which we are pleased about. The characteristics of the tyres may mean that for Saturday people will be considering how they use them, for example whether or not to use old tyres for qualifying, which is the same as Austria. We now have to sit back and look through the data and try to understand how the tyres behaved today. We will also look at other people's times to try and work out what they are doing, although that is always fraught with danger. The different thing about this event is that we have one-and-a-half days to worry about it instead of just half a day."
Ross Brawn - Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
"The first day at Monaco is always very difficult but at least we did not damage the cars and we learned quite a lot. The tyres were the focus of our work today. Qualifying is so important here that I am sure one of the key factors will be to see which of the compounds is quickest. It is not completely clear yet which we will choose. Some of our laps today were spoiled by traffic and we did not get a completely clear lap on one of the two compounds so it is not easy to judge at the moment which tyre is best. We will have to go through the data from today very carefully, then we will have some idea of what we want to do for the rest of the weekend."
Hisao Suganuma - Technical Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport
"Our teams tried both the harder and softer specifications today but at the moment it is difficult to say which is the best for this circuit. After we have examined the data we will have a clear view of what should be the race tyre." <pre> Temperatures Air Track Weather Morning 23-27C 25-36C Sunny and dry Afternoon 27-28C 37-41C Sunny and dry
Monaco Grand Prix facts: Circuit Length: 3.370km - Race Distance: 262.860km (78 laps) - 2000 Pole Position time: 1:19.475 2000 Pole Position: Michael Schumacher - 2000 Race Winner: David Coulthard