McLaren dominates Sunday warm-up

McLaren have made a point with Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard setting the fastest laps of the session.

McLaren dominates Sunday warm-up


Overnight rain meant that track conditions for this morning's warm-up session were far from ideal, and the times set give little indication to how the race will pan out this afternoon, but McLaren have made a point with Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard setting the fastest laps of the session.

The track was damp as the session began, but most of the drivers wanted to get a lap in early - one minute in and already 17 cars were on the track.

Despite the sun shining, the track was slippery and first to fall foul of the conditions was Heinz-Harald Frentzen, spinning then stalling his Jordan at Adelaide just four minutes in.

But as the track began to dry so the times tumbled. Ten minutes in and Mika Salo in the Sauber ran a 1m29.878s, the best time of the session so far, only for Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello to pip him with a 1m29.360s on the next lap.

Despite the improving track condidtions, Eddie Irvine had a spin at Adelaide and Giancarlo Fisichella lost it at Lycee - although both drivers managed to recover and continue.

The midway mark proved to be the turning point as the drivers began to push on the drying track. Hakkinen went quickest with a 1m27.026s, then the lead changed a further nine times until the session closed, with Hakkinen, Coulthard and runaway points-leader Michael Schumacher vying for the top spot.

Hakkinen was the first driver to break the 1m20 barrier, lapping at 1m19.818s with just four minutes of the session remaining. Coulthard then re-took the lead with just two minutes to go, only for his team-mate to go even faster with a 1m19.329s. Schumacher couldn't beat that on his last run and the only other drama of the session was Schumacher's brother Ralf spinning his Williams-BMW at Imola and sliding into the gravel in the dying seconds.

For a full list of times from the warm-up click here.

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