DC: 'Schumacher looks strong'

David Coulthard admitted McLaren have fallen behind Ferrari in the first day's practice for the crucial Japanese Grand Prix that could decide this year's world championship

DC: 'Schumacher looks strong'

Michael Schumacher topped the first day's practice by six-tenths of a second and was fastest in both sessions, with Mika Hakkinen second and Coulthard fourth. Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari finished the session in third, between the two McLarens.

"Michael is looking incredibly strong," admitted the Scot after Friday practice, which is not usually a reflection of the teams' competitiveness.

"Today's times do mean something. It is significant that Ferrari is quickest so we've got a bit of work to do for tomorrow.

"It is not a psychological blow for Michael to be quickest. Ferrari has been looking strong over the last few races so it is not a big surprise to see them fast today. But it is in qualifying where you take the punishment if they are quicker."

Coulthard predicted a real battle for pole position, which Schumacher has collared for the last two years only to see Hakkinen win both races.

"It is going to be incredibly close. Michael is looking incredibly strong, but a blind person could say that at the moment," he said.

"The best support I can give to Mika is to be faster than Ferrari. He clearly knows how to win a championship because he has done it twice before. But this weekend he needs help from his friends and the team as well."

For the times from the end of Friday's free practice for the Japanese GP, click HERE.

shares
comments
Schumacher is bookies' favourite
Previous article

Schumacher is bookies' favourite

Next article

Schumacher admits his advantage could go

Schumacher admits his advantage could go
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022