Barrichello Delights Home Crowd

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello fired up his passionate home crowd on Friday with the fastest lap in practice for Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

Barrichello Delights Home Crowd

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello fired up his passionate home crowd on Friday with the fastest lap in practice for Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

Barrichello, seeking to end an appalling streak of nine retirements in a row at his home track, roared round the undulating anti-clockwise Interlagos circuit in 1:11.166.

Teammate Michael Schumacher, who clinched his seventh championship in August and has won 13 races this season, was 0.168 of a second slower as Ferrari reasserted their dominance after a gentle start to the day.

Both times, set in the afternoon, were well inside Barrichello's 2003 pole of 1:13.807 and Schumacher's race lap record of 1:14.755 from 2000.

"I am very pleased and listening to the reaction of the crowd brought a smile to my face," said the Brazilian driver. "More than that, the car has been behaving quite well throughout today's sessions. It is well balanced and the team has done a good job.

"Now, we just have to keep our cool and try and improve the car even more and I am sure we will be competitive for the rest of the weekend. The track surface has more grip than last year, but there are still some bumps."

Schumacher, looking for his 14th win of the season, had a somewhat difficult day but was still confident of fighting for victory.

"It was a complicated day as I seemed to run into a lot of traffic out on the track," Schumacher said. "It made it quite difficult to push to the end of the programme we had set ourselves, but I guess it is the same for everyone here and we have enough data to know which way to go on set-up.

"I am not sure where we are in terms of consistency of performance, but over a single lap, we look very strong. The track is very bumpy which adds to the difficulty, but all in all, we are looking good and should be in the fight for the win."

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