Friday First Free Practice - Italian GP

Barrichello heads first practice for Ferrari

Friday First Free Practice - Italian GP

Barrichello heads first practice for Ferrari

Rubens Barrichello delighted the tifosi packed into the main grandstands opposite the Ferrari pit at Monza when the Brazilian set the fastest time of the first free practice session. Michael Schumacher was third fastest, almost half a second off Barrichello's best, the two Ferrari drivers working on different fuel loads and fine tuning the aerodynamic set-up of their cars after testing minor aerodynamic revisions during last week's test.

Both cars were fitted with the 'standard' 049B engines, the team expected to fit development 049C engines for qualifying on Saturday and perhaps for the race.

Trulli looking for another front row spot

After taking a place on the front row at the last race in Spa, Jarno Trulli will be looking to repeat that performance at his home race in Monza. He set the second fastest time of the session this morning, but was running low fuel compared to his team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen who was seventh fastest in the session, working on tyre and brake wear calculations for the session. The cars are running a revised rear suspension set-up in order to reduce tyre wear, which has been a problem in recent races.

Coulthard fourth for McLaren

David Coulthard was the only McLaren-Mercedes driver circulating this morning, the Scot setting the fourth fastest time along with three trips across the second chicane which like the first has been modified since last year's race. Mika Hakkinen did only one lap before returning to the pits with a slipping clutch problem, the team stripping his car to fix it for the second half of the session.

De la Rosa well up for Arrows

Pedro De la Rosa and Jos Verstappen had a trouble free session and were well up the time sheets in fifth and sixth place for the Arrows team, the drivers spending the session confirming the information learned during last week's test.

In brief...

Giancarlo Fisichella was back on form for Benetton despite his heavy crash at Monza last week. The home hero took the eighth fastest time with Wurz tenth, the two drivers quite happy with the handling, but complaining about a lack of traction out of the slower corners. The Williams drivers were having problems with instability under braking this morning, Button back in twelfth place after missing the second chicane on one lap, while Ralf Schumacher missed the first chicane twice and was only 21st quickest.

Both BAR drivers were trying to establish the performance of their previous week's testing, the track temperatures apparently changing the handling characteristics.

Pos Driver Team Times 1. Barrichello Ferrari 1:25.057 244.763 km/h 2. Trulli Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:25.390 + 0.333 3. M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:25.546 + 0.489 4. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:25.796 + 0.739 5. de la Rosa Arrows Supertec 1:25.912 + 0.855 6. Verstappen Arrows Supertec 1:26.463 + 1.406 7. Frentzen Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:26.763 + 1.706 8. Fisichella Benetton Playlife 1:26.809 + 1.752 9. Villeneuve BAR Honda 1:26.906 + 1.849 10. Wurz Benetton Playlife 1:27.093 + 2.036 11. Diniz Sauber Petronas 1:27.133 + 2.076 12. Button Williams BMW 1:27.170 + 2.113 13. Zonta BAR Honda 1:27.228 + 2.171 14. Salo Sauber Petronas 1:27.262 + 2.205 15. Gene Minardi Fondmetal 1:27.418 + 2.361 16. Herbert Jaguar Cosworth 1:27.655 + 2.598 17. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth 1:27.673 + 2.616 18. Heidfeld Prost Peugeot 1:27.794 + 2.737 19. Mazzacane Minardi Fondmetal 1:28.010 + 2.953 20. Alesi Prost Peugeot 1:28.330 + 3.273 21. R.Schumacher Williams BMW 1:28.347 + 3.290

All timing unofficial

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