Toyota surprise in second Monaco GP practice

The Jordans of Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato were first out for the second free practice of the Monaco Grand Prix after a troubled earlier session. The rest of the field followed suit as the weather looked ominous, there was a possibility...

The Jordans of Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato were first out for the second free practice of the Monaco Grand Prix after a troubled earlier session. The rest of the field followed suit as the weather looked ominous, there was a possibility of rain. Fisichella went sixteenth fastest on his first timed lap, then up to eighth -- a vast improvement on his dismal first practice where he only had three laps.

Within six minutes the Monaco circuit claimed its third victim of the day in the form of Alex Yoong, who's Minardi hit the barriers at Rascasse. Sauber's Felipe Massa spun a 360, narrowly missing the wall and the session was red flagged while the debris of Yoong's car was cleared. The Bridgestone tyres were looking quite used, Michael Schumacher's Ferrari running a well worn set.

Olivier Panis improved to third once the track was re-opened, BAR seeming on the pace after Jacques Villeneuve's sixth fastest in the earlier session. Kimi Raikkonen and Pedro de la Rosa, who both crashed in the first practice, were unable to take to the track early on. Juan Pablo Montoya took the fastest time for Williams, a 1:20.638, the times improving as the track wore in. Jenson Button was next at the top, Renault also looking good while the Ferraris were third and fourth.

A much more active session this time with lots of laps being put in. Mark Webber continued a sterling performance for Minardi, the Australian in fourteenth and Villeneuve improving to fifth. Sauber were still cautious just outside the top ten by half way through. Jarno Trulli went second quickest for Renault but team-mate Button headed back to the pits with a damaged rear tyre.

Arrows' Enrique Bernoldi had an engine failure and shed oil on the track which caught out the Jaguar of Eddie Irvine. Irvine spun heading towards Casino and the car was heavily damaged at the rear. Team-mate de la Rosa finally managed to make it onto the circuit but Raikkonen's McLaren could not be repaired for the session. Montoya had a brief moment at Mirabeau and took to the escape road while the Toyotas of Allan McNish and Mika Salo suddenly woke up and jumped to fourth and fifth.

Felipe Massa crashed at Tabac to prematurely end his session and the marshals had a bit of a problem clearing the Sauber from the track. Michael Schumacher went fifth fastest, Rubens Barrichello holding the top time until David Coulthard took over. It was short lived as fellow Scot McNish put in a storming lap to go fastest and Salo into third, Toyota amazingly quick. Webber jumped up to sixth making the top ten look rather unusual heading into the final five minutes.

Fisichella improved to third but Button hit the barrier at Mirabeau bringing out the yellow flags. Trulli took the top slot from McNish, many teams running in qualifying trim in the session and the end result saw Michael Schumacher down in eleventh place. Final top six classification: Trulli, McNish, Coulthard, Fisichella, Salo, R. Schumacher.

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