US GP: Red Bull Friday practice notes

The second practice session was halted 13 minutes after the start, when Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher ran wide on the last corner, hit the outer wall and collected substantial damage to his car. The session was red flagged, while the German's car...

The second practice session was halted 13 minutes after the start, when Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher ran wide on the last corner, hit the outer wall and collected substantial damage to his car. The session was red flagged, while the German's car and surrounding debris was removed from the track.

Once the session was back underway, David Coulthard suffered a spin during the 18th minute, before his second practice was cut short due to a gearbox problem. Despite completing just nine laps in the afternoon, the Scot still posted the sixth fastest time aboard his RB1.

David's team- mates Christian Klien and Scott Speed recorded 83 laps between them and, in the second session, posted the 14th and eighth fastest time respectively.

David Coulthard:

"We had a problem selecting sixth gear during the second session. There was a vibration through the banking section, which is never good when you're not sure what it is, but the guys identified it and are working on the problem now. The spin was due to an electronic glitch. Basically, the software had a fault that meant I didn't have electronic assistance in the car when exiting corners."

What you saw out there was basically a purely mechanical car relying on old-skool technology, like they used to use in the 1970s. Nowadays, we have all sorts of electronic toys and gadgets, which give us assistance, but when you switch them off, that's the result! We had an opportunity to stretch the upgraded engine a little during this practice and we'll compare the data to the old specification to see how it compares."

"At the moment, we look like we could be more competitive here than in Canada, although the proof will be tomorrow and on Sunday. Even though we stopped the session early, I'm encouraged by today."

Christian Klien:

"There's still work to do with the set up of the car. I'm not really happy with the overall feeling at the moment, there's quite a lot of oversteer and we'll need to find a solution before tomorrow's qualifying session. The engine seems to be a real step forward and we're definitely closer to the front-runners here than we were in Canada."

Scott Speed, Test driver:

"There's a really special atmosphere for me here and it's so great to be back driving in America and in an F1 car. The track had more grip on the second session and with every lap I completed, I felt more comfortable. There were no mechanical problems at all and the difference I felt sitting behind the wheel here, compared to in Montreal, was quite significant - it's all about gaining more experience."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director:

"Scott was working on a comparison between two tyre compounds today and did an excellent job for the team, setting some good times. He finished in the top ten on only his fourth F1 practice session, which is a commendable effort and he's obviously a promising talent coming through. It's a good solid start to the weekend, especially with the new Cosworth Series 12 engine, which will hopefully show it's true potential over the weekend."

Günther Steiner, Technical Director:

"David had a problem with his car's gearbox in the second session. We're inspecting exactly what it is now, but it seems that sixth gear is broken so we'll change the gearbox tonight. It was an engine braking control system problem that caused David's spin; a software mapping issue meant the engine braking didn't work as it should have done, but it was easily corrected."

"There seems much more performance from the new engine and we'll be comparing today's data with that of the former engine to see how much of a significant step forward it is. We're happy with the times we set today, but qualifying is tomorrow so we'll see what we can do then."

David Coulthard
Chassis Number: 3
First Practice Position: 14th
Best Time: 1:13.740
Laps: 8
Second Practice Position: 6th
Best Time: 1:12.076
Laps: 9

Christian Klien
Chassis Number: 1
First Practice Position: 16th
Best Time: 1:14.444
Laps: 8
Second Practice Position: 12th
Best Time: 1:12.664
Laps: 20

Scott Speed
Chassis Number: 2
First Practice Position: 15th
Best Time: 1:13.846
Laps: 21
Second Practice Position: 8th
Best Time: 1:12.143
Laps: 34

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , David Coulthard , Scott Speed , Christian Klien