Sato ahead in Canadian GP second practice

Sato ahead in Canadian GP second practice

BAR's Takuma Sato topped the times in the second Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, his best of 1:14.086 being three tenths quicker than Renault's Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was third quickest, although his morning ...

BAR's Takuma Sato topped the times in the second Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, his best of 1:14.086 being three tenths quicker than Renault's Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was third quickest, although his morning practice time of 1:14.013 remained the best of the day. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen had a good session to finish fourth.

Takuma Sato.
Photo by Elmar Vat.

The track temperature was up to 45 degrees for the second session of the day and the activity got under way fairly quickly. Toyota third driver Ricardo Zonta and Sauber's Felipe Massa traded the first fastest times but BAR third driver Anthony Davidson pipped the pair of them with a 1:15.513. Alonso and Raikkonen's swiftly moved into second and third respectively.

Giancarlo Fisichella ousted Alonso, the Sauber three tenths down on Davidson, then the BAR of Jenson Button took the slot, closing the gap to two tenths. Toyota's Cristiano da Matta, Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya and the Jaguar of Mark Webber were also early top ten runners. All three Minardis made it onto the time sheet, Gianmaria Bruni leading Zsolt Baumgartner and third driver Bas Leinders, who had problems in the first session.

Button took over the top spot by just a couple of hundredths, 1:15.446, but was immediately ousted by Michael's 1:15.298. The German was in turn demoted by teammate Rubens Barrichello clocking 1:15.152. Renault's Jarno Trulli and Sato joined the top ten action, as did Ralf Schumacher's Williams. Barrichello improved his time to 1:14.838, four and a half tenths up on Michael.

Sato moved up to third quickest, with Button and Davidson running in formation behind. Michael touched the wall at turn nine but escaped with a puncture, which was soon rectified. Jordan's Nick Heidfeld was lapping in the midfield with team third driver Timo Glock, but race driver Giorgio Pantano appears to be having some problems.

Pantano sat out both practices, reportedly because of a disagreement between his family and management in regard to finances. Sponsor money owed to the team has been witheld due to the dispute and it remains to be seen if there will be a resolution.

Zonta was the only Toyota in the top ten after twenty minutes, da Matta and Olivier Panis in 13th and 18th respectively. Jaguar third driver Bj?rn Wirdheim had hydraulic problems in the first session and appeared to suffer more gremlins this time, staying at the bottom of the times. Raikkonen and teammate David Coulthard hovered around the edge of the top ten, along with Webber.

Barrichello edged his time down slightly to 1:14.705 and Zonta improved to second, half a second off the Ferrari, but was demoted by Michael going a few tenths quicker than the Toyota. Alonso moved back up the ranks to sixth but Davidson's session was bought to a halt in the middle sector when he hit the tyre barrier at turn six. It was a high speed incident but he appeared unharmed.

Button moved up to third quickest but was quickly beaten by da Matta, a good effort from the Toyota man, four tenths off the lead Ferrari. Sato then shot up to the top, 1:14.086, over six tenths clear. Coulthard improved to fifth and Alonso up to second, three tenths down on Sato. Zonta bettered his time but held station behind the Ferraris and Michael also improved, going ahead of Barrichello. Raikkonen bumped them all back down a slot when he took third.

Bruni put in a good effort to post 17th, ahead of the Jordans, Klien and Montoya -- who had only done six laps due to a fuel leak -- and Michael took the third position from Raikkonen. It was a fairly active session, with a notable effort from Toyota, with two cars in the top seven at the close. Fisichella ended 10th which put three Bridgestone runners in the top ten for a change.

No surprises from Friday -- there were a few bumpy rides over the kerbs and one or two intimate moments with the walls, notably Davidson, along with the usual minor off track excursions. The Ferraris not being at the top by the end of the day doesn't mean anything, as we've often seen before. Renault and BAR continue to look on the pace and McLaren showed a bit of form. Williams didn't look so good this time around but, as always, it's tomorrow that counts. Final top eight classification: Sato, Alonso, M. Schumacher, Raikkonen, Barrichello, Zonta, da Matta, Button.

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