Good conditions continued for the third practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix and the crowd were in fine form, a huge cheer going up for local hero Jacques Villeneuve as he took to the track. A busy first five minutes as everyone went out...
Good conditions continued for the third practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix and the crowd were in fine form, a huge cheer going up for local hero Jacques Villeneuve as he took to the track. A busy first five minutes as everyone went out for installation laps, track temperature a moderate 15C, but it was a brief burst of activity initially.
Allan McNish was the first man to set a time, the Toyota clocking a 1:24.378, dropping to a time in the 1:18s. Michael Schumacher was out early but the Ferrari was evidently taking a slow approach to the start, remaining behind McNish for a few laps before taking the top spot. Jordan's Takuma Sato was the first spin of the day as the Minardis, Arrows and Jordan's put in the early work
Ralf Schumacher took over the fastest time, down into the 1:16s and a more reliable indication of the form, followed by Williams team mate Juan Pablo Montoya. Enrique Bernoldi and Mark Webber were among the front runners early on as was Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa, up to fifth after twenty minutes. Jarno Trulli went second fastest after his practice yesterday was cut short and Jenson Button was in the top ten, a better session for Renault although they both ended up way down the times.
Rubens Barrichello had his turn at the top of the times while Sauber improved on the previous practices. BAR also continued to show well, both Villeneuve and Olivier Panis in the top ten again. David Coulthard was on form but team mate Kimi Raikkonen came to a halt on track for a short while before continuing. He then went on to set the fastest time, a 1:15.076, with Montoya hot on his heels into second quickest.
Not much between the Michelin and Bridgestone runners, although with the temperature modest at that time of morning there is room for change later in the day. The track was less slippery than yesterday but not ideal -- the later runs in qualifying will probably be the best times. Michael Schumacher appeared to be taking it easy, in the top ten but down the order, while Barrichello battled with Montoya for the top spot.
By the end of the session times were down into the 1:14s -- Raikonnen and Coulthard had minor spins at the same corner and Michael did his last minute trick, going fastest as the clock ticked over to zero. Top six final classification: M. Schumacher, Montoya, R. Schumacher, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Frentzen.