Final practice: Ralf gets his way

Ralf Schumacher was not to be denied a top slot today, despite some stiff competition from his Colombian team-mate. The German stayed top of the times for most of the final session of practice for the European GP, then, with just seconds to go, Juan Pablo Montoya stormed ahead of Olivier Panis and into second place.

Final practice: Ralf gets his way

With just 0.06s between Montoya and Schumacher the battle for pole will be a tight affair this afternoon. In fact, the top seven were all within a second of the 1m31.305s lead time. The deciding factor could easily be the weather, however, as both sessions this morning were played out under ominously grey skies.

David Coulthard thumped his way over the kerbs in the McLaren on his way to fourth, with Kimi Raikkonen hot on his heels. Cristiano da Matta got a dose of whatever has infected Panis and rounded out the top six. The Brazilian driver kicked the session off, keen to get as many laps under his rookie belt as possible. In the end, only sauber's Nick Heidfeld did as many tours (22).

While Schumacher Jnr and Montoya were locked together at the top of the times, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello struggled to feature in the top ten. Michael could be seen donating handfuls of opposite lock to charity, but strategy and guile may yet prove to have more to do with his placing than any lack of performance.

Nonetheless, Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn could be seen on the pitwall in deep debate with one of the team's Bridgestone tyre representatives. All will become clear at two o'clock this afternoon!

Ahead of the Ferrari's were the Renaults of Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso.

Jaguar Racing's Mark Webber spun and lost drive on the entrance to the pit straight - just eight laps into the session. He had been pinging all the apexes in fine style and running ninth fastest when he retired. Team-mate Pizzonia finished behind Barrichello in 11th.

Justin Wilson's miserable weekend faltered further with a retirement halway into the session.

shares
comments
Saturday Second Free Practice - European GP
Previous article

Saturday Second Free Practice - European GP

Next article

Grapevine: More News from the Paddock - European GP

Grapevine: More News from the Paddock - European GP
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
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?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
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?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
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