Friday Free Practice - Brazilian GP

World Champion Michael Schumacher mastered the wet conditions at Interlagos as he finished the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at the top of the times.

Friday Free Practice - Brazilian GP

World Champion Michael Schumacher mastered the wet conditions at Interlagos as he finished the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at the top of the times.

Ferrari driver Schumacher set the pace with a best lap time of 1:28.060 as conditions hampered running, with the wet-weather tyres supplied not sufficient enough to cope with the torrential downpours. McLaren driver David Coulthard was second quickest, just over a tenth down on Schumacher, with BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button third.

Briton Button was more than eight tenths slower than Schumacher, with fourth-placed Renault driver Jarno Trulli 1.5 seconds off the pace despite running in the wet in the latter stages of this morning's testing session.

Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya ended the session fifth ahead of Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, with Toyota pair Oliver Panis and Cristiano Da Matta, Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella and Sauber driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen completing the top ten.

Four drivers failed to complete a timed lap with Kimi Raikkonen remaining in the pits after an early spin. Antonio Pizzonia damaged his Jaguar, Renault's Fernando Alonso collided with the barriers. Justin Wilson with the Minardi was the other driver not to set a time.

Raikkonen was the first man to take to the wet Interlagos circuit, but seconds into his out lap, the Malaysian Grand Prix winner narrowly avoided a heavy collision. The young Finn lost control of his McLaren and spun onto the grass, and missed the barriers by inches before returning to the track and then to the pitlane, where he remained for the rest of the hour-long session.

Sauber driver Frentzen was the first man to set a lap time in the session, but just moments after completing the lap lost control of his car and spun onto grass. Frentzen's Sauber teammate Nick Heidfeld then hit problems when he stopped his car at turn 5 after encountering problems.

The session was halted with 15 minutes remaining, by which time Michael Schumacher had taken over at the head of the times, after Pizzonia collided with the barriers on both sides of the track at turn 4. Pizzonia, competing in his first Grand Prix at Interlagos, rebounded off the barriers and back onto the track and the session was immediately halted until the Brazilian's Jaguar was taken from the circuit.

Renault's Alonso emerged for his first run in the session following the restart, but returned to the pits after sliding into the barriers at turn 2.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:28.060 176.157 km/h 9 2. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:28.188 + 0.128 10 3. Button BAR Honda (B) 1:28.903 + 0.843 10 4. Trulli Renault (M) 1:29.607 + 1.547 4 5. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:30.885 + 2.825 10 6. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:31.462 + 3.402 6 7. Panis Toyota (M) 1:31.518 + 3.458 5 8. da Matta Toyota (M) 1:31.548 + 3.488 6 9. Fisichella Jordan Ford (B) 1:32.603 + 4.543 7 10. Frentzen Sauber Petronas (B) 1:33.131 + 5.071 9 11. Webber Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:33.714 + 5.654 3 12. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:35.013 + 6.953 9 13. Verstappen Minardi Cosworth (B) 1:37.226 + 9.166 3 14. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:38.728 + 10.668 7 15. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1:48.359 + 20.299 8 16. Firman Jordan Ford (B) 1:57.783 + 29.723 3 All Timing Unofficial

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