Once again Ferrari and McLaren traded the fastest times in the two Saturday practices for the Belgian Grand Prix and Kimi Raikkonen held on to the top slot after the second session. Michael Schumacher was quickest in the first session but McLaren...
Once again Ferrari and McLaren traded the fastest times in the two Saturday practices for the Belgian Grand Prix and Kimi Raikkonen held on to the top slot after the second session. Michael Schumacher was quickest in the first session but McLaren were fighting hard, Raikkonen setting a 1:44.870 in the final practice which was a mere eight hundredths of a second faster.
David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello were third and fourth while the two Williams' returned to the fight with Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher fifth and sixth. A slight turn around in positions, this season has seen Williams generally ahead of McLaren but very little separated the top six.
Mika Salo was seventh fastest, not unusual for Toyota to be in the top ten during practices but they rarely seem to carry it through to qualifying. Allan McNish was eighteenth. Olivier Panis, who joins Toyota next year, was eighth and BAR team mate Jacques Villeneuve thirteenth. Like Toyota, BAR also seem unable to translate reasonable practice times into grid positions.
Pedro de la Rosa was the faster of the two Jaguars in ninth, Eddie Irvine twelfth, and Jenson Button rounded off the top ten for Renault. Team mate Jarno Trulli was fifteenth. Jordan continued to be unsettled, in yesterday's practices they struggled and today Giancarlo Fisichella only managed eleventh. Fisichella has put in some stellar qualifying sessions recently though, so his practice times could be deceptive. Takuma Sato was down the field in sixteenth.
Sauber were baffled yesterday by the lack of performance and today's sessions saw both Felipe Massa and Nick Heidfeld remain at the back of the midfield. Minardi, as usual, bought up the rear, Mark Webber ahead of Anthony Davidson.
Michelin seem to have the upper hand again today, only three Bridgestone runners in the top ten and Ferrari look set to have a battle with both Williams and McLaren in qualifying. The weather was fine this morning but Spa is notoriously changeable which could come into play. Final top six classification: Raikkonen, M. Schumacher, Coulthard, Barrichello, Montoya, R. Schumacher.