Friday Free Practice - French GP

Jaguar driver Mark Webber made the most of wet conditions to leave his rivals trailing as he topped the times in the opening practice session for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Friday Free Practice - French GP

Jaguar driver Mark Webber made the most of wet conditions to leave his rivals trailing as he topped the times in the opening practice session for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Australian Webber, who ran on a wet circuit in the private testing session, shot to the top of the times late in the session and his lap of 1:26.915 was more than a second ahead of next best, Ralf Schumacher.

Williams-BMW's Schumacher moved ahead of Renault pair Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli late in the session with Jaguar's Antonio Pizzonia completing a solid practice for the Milton Keynes-based team in fifth. World Champion Michael Schumacher, who had a low-speed collision with Webber in the pitlane, was sixth fastest for Ferrari.

McLaren-Mercedes' David Coulthard ended seventh quickest with Toyota's Olivier Panis, Jordan driver Giancarlo Fisichella and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, of the Sauber team, completing the top ten. World Championship contender Kimi Raikkonen finished 12th for McLaren, Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya was 13th and Ferrari drivers Rubens Barrichello could only set the 15th best time.

The BAR-Honda cars did not take to the track as a court ruling went on, but they will compete in the qualifying session later today after they were freed to use their cars. Drivers were allowed to use the new extreme wet weather tyres at the start of the session following early morning rain showers at the Magny-Cours circuit.

McLaren-Mercedes' David Coulthard was the first driver to set a competitive time in the wet conditions as he moved to the top of the times despite making two errors and leaving the track at turns 12 and seven.

Mid-way through the session Ferrari duo Schumacher and Barrichello moved to the top of the timesheets after Sauber's Heinz-Harald Frentzen had previously led the way after bettering Coulthard's time.

Renault's Jarno Trulli, who had some running time in the wet during the private testing session, jumped up to second place ahead of Barrichello as Schumacher continued to lead the way. Trulli then moved to the top of the times after lowering Schumacher's previous best by almost four tenths of a second.

Schumacher left his pit-box when the lollipop was lifted and was unable to avoid a collision with Jaguar's Mark Webber, who lost his front wing in the low-speed collision.

While Schumacher had his troubles, the German was knocked down a further place in the timings as Alonso took second place behind teammate Trulli, before the Spaniard moved top as the circuit began to dry. Barrichello ran across the gravel after making a mistake at turn three before Webber to snatch top spot by more than four-tenths of a second in the closing stages.

The Australian Jaguar driver then underlined his growing reputation by bettering his time further as he finished 1.167 seconds ahead of Ralf Schumacher, who improved in the final seconds.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Webber Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:26.915 182.703 km/h 27 2. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:28.082 + 1.167 24 3. Alonso Renault (M) 1:28.260 + 1.345 20 4. Trulli Renault (M) 1:28.296 + 1.381 19 5. Pizzonia Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:28.442 + 1.527 30 6. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:28.681 + 1.766 16 7. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:28.718 + 1.803 21 8. Panis Toyota (M) 1:28.773 + 1.858 20 9. Fisichella Jordan Ford (B) 1:28.782 + 1.867 16 10. Frentzen Sauber Petronas (B) 1:28.803 + 1.888 21 11. Raikkonen McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:28.846 + 1.931 22 12. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:29.317 + 2.402 23 13. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:29.608 + 2.693 21 14. Firman Jordan Ford (B) 1:29.640 + 2.725 22 15. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:29.813 + 2.898 18 16. da Matta Toyota (M) 1:30.791 + 3.876 25 17. Verstappen Minardi Cosworth (B) 1:32.091 + 5.176 19 18. Wilson Minardi Cosworth (B) 1:32.535 + 5.620 17 All Timing Unofficial

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