Hydraulic problems halt Schuey

Michael Schumacher was forced to sit out almost all of the second free practice session at Suzuka today (Friday) after his F2002 developed a hydraulic problem that could not be fixed in time for him to get back on track

Hydraulic problems halt Schuey

Schumacher set the pace in the opening session, but dropped back to sixth as others upped their pace. However, the world champion, who's bidding for a record 11th win in a single season, is sure he'll be on the pace in qualifying tomorrow, despite losing valuable track time.

"I hardly did any laps, as my car developed a problem with the hydraulic system," he explained. "We will now have to analyse exactly what caused it, but I am not concerned about this for tomorrow's qualifying session as I am sure we will be competitive, even if the gap between us and the non-Bridgestone teams seems a bit closer than usual. The track is a bit slippery at the moment, but that is normal here on the first day."

With Schumacher sidelined, Rubens Barrichello was left to do the team's set-up work. Sporting director Jean Todt was pleased with what the Brazilian accomplished.

"Schumacher's car developed a hydraulic problem which could not be fixed in the time, which meant Michael spent nearly the whole session in the pits," said the Frenchman. "Rubens, however, was able to run continuously, doing the usual job of comparing the two types of tyre available. We expect to be competitive in tomorrow's qualifying session. We will be aiming for an all-red front row."

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