Williams put in a late effort to take the top two times in the first practice session of the San Marino Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher quickest with a 1:21.335, just seven hundredths of a second ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. The weather was dry and it...
Williams put in a late effort to take the top two times in the first practice session of the San Marino Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher quickest with a 1:21.335, just seven hundredths of a second ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. The weather was dry and it was an active session with some good performances from Jaguar again and no Ferrari even in the top eight by the end.
Toyota's Cristiano da Matta was first out on track, followed by the Sauber of Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Ralf Schumacher set the first fastest time for Williams but was quickly deposed by the Ferrari of brother Michael. Jaguar showed well early on, Antonio Pizzonia, who was fastest in private testing, taking the top slot from Michael by 0.026.
Giancarlo Fisichella, who was presented the Brazilian GP winner's trophy by Kimi Raikkonen shortly before the session, went fastest as soon as he went out but was knocked off the top by Rubens Barrichello with a 1:23.064. The second Jaguar of Mark Webber was also on the pace, second quickest.
Both Jordans were in the top ten consistently in the first half of the session, as were the Saubers, but McLaren and Williams seemed a bit ponderous until Juan Pablo Montoya took the top slot with a scorching 1:21.852. Raikkonen improved to eighth.
BAR also seemed to be dithering, Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button down the grid along with the Toyotas and the Minardis at the back. Renault was outside the top ten as well for much of the session but Jarno Trulli bounced up to second quickest in the last ten minutes, quickly followed by Button then Alonso in a sudden revival.
Webber continued to be in the front runners and Ralf Schumacher and Montoya dueled in the final minutes, going first and second fastest respectively, separated by just seven hundredths of a second. Barrichello and Michael wound up ninth and tenth.
A late burst of activity saw Webber up to third quickest, Coulthard fourth and Alonso fifth. Button remained in the top six but Villeneuve was down in eighteenth. Final top eight classification: R. Schumacher, Montoya, Webber, Coulthard, Alonso, Button, Frentzen, Trulli.