US GP practices complete, Button ahead

US GP practices complete, Button ahead

Final preparations are completed prior to pre-qualifying at the United States Grand Prix, set to take the green flags Sunday at noon EDT on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that incorporates the historic Brickyard ...

Final preparations are completed prior to pre-qualifying at the United States Grand Prix, set to take the green flags Sunday at noon EDT on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that incorporates the historic Brickyard oval.

Jenson Button.
Photo by Michael Kim.

In two 45-minute sessions, Jenson Button posted the quickest lap in his Lucky Strike BAR Honda in the second practice at 1:10.056, easily the quickest test tour of the meeting thus far. Second went to Michael Schumacher's Ferrari at 1:10.199, just 0.143 behind the Briton.

Takuma Sato was third in the second Lucky Strike BAR Honda at 1:10.251 while Rubens Barrichello quickest in both Friday practices took fourth in the second Ferrari at 1:10.351, which computed to 0.014 seconds quicker than his best Friday lap of 1:10.365.

Sunny, breezy and cool temperatures in the low to middle 60s greeted the 20 F1 drivers this morning, after evening thunderstorms took away the humidity and heat that had plagued the area for the past week. As a result, times are relatively quicker as teams prepare for pre-qualifying at 1PM EDT and absolute time trials to set the grid an hour later.

2000 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner (and 1999 CART champion) Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth in the BMW Williams F1 at 1:10.708, while 2002 CART champ Cristiano da Matta in the Panasonic Toyota ran 1:10.802, good for sixth. Ralf Schumacher was next up in his BMW Williams at 1:10.802, followed by Jarno Trulli's Mild Seven Renault and Kimi Raikkonen, tenth in the West McLaren Mercedes.

Nine cars lapped within one second this morning in the second session, which was quicker overall than the first as temperatures warmed. The gap from first to 20th (Gianmaria Bruni) decreased to 3.859 seconds to cover the field.

The incident report during the two sessions (that went without red flags this morning) included several spins; the sole car not to complete practice was Mark Webber's Jaguar, which went off in the second stint at Turn 6 when the Australian totally missed the turn, locking his brakes and plunging into the litter box erected for just that purpose. This incident occurred nine minutes into practice #2.

Olivier Panis, who will take green flags for his 150th Grand Prix here was first to spin with 17 minutes remaining in the first practice, off and on at Turn 7. In the second practice, Bruni was off and back on-circuit in the first turn with four minutes left, while Trulli did an off/on at Turn 8 with two minutes remaining in the session.

The Porsche Cup cars take to the circuit for final practice prior to pre-qualifying, the running sequence that puts the top of the points order first to the bottom of the points parade.

Stay tuned.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Gianmaria Bruni , Cristiano da Matta , Michael Kim
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams