Friday Free Practice - Japanese GP

Jarno Trulli out-paced Championship favourite Michael Schumacher to top the times for Renault in the opening practice session for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Friday Free Practice - Japanese GP

Jarno Trulli out-paced Championship favourite Michael Schumacher to top the times for Renault in the opening practice session for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Italian Trulli's time of 1:30.727 put him 0.282 seconds ahead of Ferrari driver Schumacher as the German put in his opening preparations for the championship showdown.

His only title rival, Kimi Raikkonen, finished almost three tenths of a second slower in sixth place for McLaren-Mercedes. Raikkonen's teammate David Coulthard finished ahead of the Finn in third.

Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello and Trulli's teammate Fernando Alonso ensured the top six places were filled by Renault, Ferrari and McLaren when they finished furth and fifth respectively.

But Spaniard Alonso, who was on a flying lap late in the session, ended the morning in the gravel trap at turn 14 after losing control and spinning off the circuit.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, in the lead Williams, finished seventh fastest with Australian Mark Webber eighth in the lead Jaguar while the Toyotas of Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta completed the top ten.

The circuit changes continued to bother some of the drivers, with the new chicane once again confusing them and both Ferraris, both Jaguars and Panis all used the old chicane at one point during the session.

Briton Jenson Button stopped on the straight when the engine in his BAR-Honda expired and their rival Japanese engine manufacturer also ran into trouble when Cristiano da Matta's Toyota ground to a halt in the pits.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Trulli Renault (M) 1:30.727 230.419 km/h 15 2. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:31.009 + 0.282 18 3. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:31.019 + 0.292 21 4. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:31.217 + 0.490 19 5. Alonso Renault (M) 1:31.276 + 0.549 19 6. Raikkonen McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:31.303 + 0.576 21 7. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:31.654 + 0.927 9 8. Webber Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:31.977 + 1.250 23 9. Panis Toyota (M) 1:32.011 + 1.284 21 10. da Matta Toyota (M) 1:32.133 + 1.406 25 11. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:32.208 + 1.481 18 12. Sato BAR Honda (B) 1:32.295 + 1.568 20 13. Frentzen Sauber Petronas (B) 1:32.422 + 1.695 18 14. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:32.694 + 1.967 17 15. Wilson Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:32.735 + 2.008 21 16. Firman Jordan Ford (B) 1:33.306 + 2.579 18 17. Fisichella Jordan Ford (B) 1:33.956 + 3.229 17 18. Button BAR Honda (B) 1:34.445 + 3.718 9 19. Verstappen Minardi Cosworth (B) 1:35.180 + 4.453 13 20. Kiesa Minardi Cosworth (B) 1:35.900 + 5.173 14 All Timing Unofficial

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