Free practice 3: Michael rises to top

Michael Schumacher's methodical build-up to Sunday's European Grand Prix moved up a gear when the Ferrari driver posted the fastest ever lap at the Nurburgring in Saturday morning's first 45-minute free practice session

Free practice 3: Michael rises to top

Schumacher, who was born just 50 miles from the track in Kerpen, recorded a 1m16.308s fastest lap, edging out brother Ralf, who posted a 1m16.574s lap in his Williams-BMW.

Track temperatures remained relatively low, but Michelin appeared capable of performing more competitively against Bridgestone - at least when bolted on to a Williams.

Behind the local siblings, Mika Hakkinen put in a last-minute quick lap to pip team mate and world title prospect David Coulthard in a McLaren-Mercedes three-four.

Rubens Barrichello was fifth fastest for Ferrari, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the second of the Williams cars.

Jacques Villeneuve managed to spin off at the tight Dunlop Curve (basically, it's a hairpin), but still set the best Honda-powered time with seventh in his BAR.

Two more Honda-motivated machines followed, with the now fit again Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan in eighth and Olivier Panis's BAR ninth.

Nick Heidfeld made it all four Germans in the top 10, with his Sauber team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Jarno Trulli was 12th for Jordan, ahead of a Jaguar 13-14, Pedro de la Rosa just pipping Eddie Irvine.

Bad news for Jenson Button: team mate Giancarlo Fisichella took his Benetton-Renault to 19th, with the sophomore Brit propping up the time sheets in 22nd place. The team has introduced power steering for the first time at the Nurburgring, but still has much to do in more fundamental areas, namely Renault's wide-angle V10.

For full free practice 3 results, click here.

shares
comments
Room for improvement, says BMW tech boss

Previous article

Room for improvement, says BMW tech boss

Next article

DNFs are a fact of life, says Haug

DNFs are a fact of life, says Haug
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021