Ralf Schumacher fastest in Spanish GP final practice

Ralf Schumacher fastest in Spanish GP final practice

Toyota's Ralf Schumacher set the pace in the final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix when he clocked a best of 1:14.280. Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was fastest in the first session and Ralf was nearly a second quicker by the end of...

Toyota's Ralf Schumacher set the pace in the final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix when he clocked a best of 1:14.280. Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was fastest in the first session and Ralf was nearly a second quicker by the end of the practices. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was two tenths down on the Toyota for second and his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya was third.

Ralf Schumacher.
Photo by xpb.cc.

On a cool, clear morning Red Bull's Tonio Liuzzi was first to set a time, a casual 1:21.345, and on the next couple of flyers he bought it down to 1:18.761. Mark Webber, who was sidelined on Friday with engine problems, was next up and the Williams clocked 1:18.751 to go ahead of Liuzzi by one hundredth.

He improved to 1:18.056 and Minardi's Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers made it four on the time sheet after 15 minutes. Michael Schumacher was next to appear and the Ferrari took over at the top with a 1:17.590, half a second up on Webber. Red Bull's David Coulthard took over the second spot, three tenths down.

Ralf's Toyota joined in fifth, the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello in sixth and Jordan's Tiago Monteiro in ninth. Ralf then shot to the top, 1:17.439, and Michael slotted in behind for just a tenth down. Barrichello improved to fourth and Monteiro went one ahead of Friesacher for eighth.

Ralf dropped his time to 1:16.734, eighth tenths up on Michael, but then Barrichello moved into second, just a hundredth astray. Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan joined in eighth and the second Toyota of Jarno Trulli in seventh, and Nick Heidfeld's Williams made sixth. Karthikeyan put in a good effort to go ahead of Trulli, back to eighth after being moved down.

Heidfeld improved to fourth and Michael took over at the top, 1:15.735, nearly a second up on Liuzzi who slotted in behind the Ferrari. Raikkonen's McLaren clocked eighth on his first effort and Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa made 14th and 15th. Raikkonen then moved up to fifth and Massa to 12th.

Fisichella was the first Renault on track and clocked seventh, then Albers bought out the yellow flags when he went into the gravel in the last sector. Fisichella moved up to the top of the times, 1:15.605, and Massa climbed one place to 11th. At the very end of the session Montoya ventured out to post seventh.

Local hero Fernando Alonso did not set a time, although the fans got glimpse of the Renault man when he did a couple of installation laps. Fisichella remained at the top, just two hundredths ahead of Michael and Ralf was two tenths off in third. Red Bull was looking handy with Liuzzi and Coulthard in fifth and sixth respectively.

Liuzzi was first out again in the second session, along with Massa and Raikkonen and Kimi got the better of the trio, 1:15.677. Massa took second and Montiero third ahead of Liuzzi. Montoya then grabbed the second spot but was immediately demoted by Massa. Raikkonen improved to 1:15.435, with Felipe seven tenths down.

Michael took over the second spot and closed the gap to a tenth and Montoya slotted into third. Villeneuve was one behind Massa in fifth and the pair lost out to Fisichella, who posted fourth. Karthikeyan was eighth ahead of Monteiro and Ralf appeared in seventh. Fisichella moved up to second and Raikkonen improved to 1:15.204.

Coulthard took fifth and Trulli ninth, while Liuzzi moved back up the times to third. Barrichello made sixth initially then improved to third and there was a quiet spell in the middle of the session. Alonso finally set a flying lap and went straight to the top, 1:15.030, fractionally ahead of teammate Fisichella,

Raikkonen replied with a 1:14.462, the best time of the weekend so far, and Heidfeld improved to fourth. Ralf promptly topped Kimi by two tenths, 1:14.280, and Montoya moved up to fifth. Trulli managed sixth and Michael ninth, while Webber, who had been pottering about in the midfield, shot up to fifth.

Monteiro spun and stalled in the middle sector, followed by Fisichella having a brief trip over the grass but he recovered. Montoya moved up to third but Ralf remained at the top by the end of the session. He, Raikkonen, Montoya and Webber in fourth were the only ones in the 1:14 bracket and separated by four tenths.

McLaren and Renault look very quick, while Ralf was eight tenths faster than teammate Trulli, but Toyota also looked good. Williams had a decent morning too and those four teams made up the top eight. Ferrari was at the edge of the top ten but are they just being coy? Final top eight classification: R. Schumacher, Raikkonen, Montoya, Webber, Alonso, Fisichella, Trulli, Heidfeld.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan