Montoya Fastest in Bizarre Practice 3

Juan Pablo Montoya finished fastest in Saturday morning's first practice session for the United States Grand Prix as almost all the Michelin runners were forced to stay off track because of safety fears

Montoya Fastest in Bizarre Practice 3

Michelin suffered several tyre failures in Friday practice, one of which pitched Ralf Schumacher's Toyota into the wall and caused him to withdraw from the event through injury on Saturday morning.

The French tyre company advised its teams on how to prepare their cars to ensure the tyres were safe but only a few Michelin runners were able to make the appropriate changes in time to run.

McLaren were relatively quick to get on track and put Montoya on top after Ferrari had led the session heading into the final five minutes with the Colombian setting a weekend best time of 1:10.726.

The changes appeared to cause him few problems as he went 1.043 seconds faster than second-placed Michael Schumacher's time in the lead Bridgestone-shod Ferrari with Rubens Barrichello less than a tenth further back in third.

David Coulthard, the only other Michelin runner to set a time, finished fourth fastest in his Red Bull Racing machine with Tiago Monteiro fifth for Jordan ahead of sixth-placed teammate Narain Karthikeyan.

Minardi pair Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers completed the eight time setters with seventh and eighth fastest laps respectively while all drivers except Jarno Trulli at least managed an installation lap.

Only three cars had completed a lap time in the first 25 minutes with Narain Karthikeyan leading the times for Jordan and Minardi's Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers in second and third.

A few teams, including Renault and BAR-Honda, sent their cars out with seconds to go to complete an extra installation lap but despite Michelin's problems they were still on top of the pile by the end.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:10.726 4 2. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:11.769 + 1.043 11 3. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:11.838 + 1.112 9 4. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:12.409 + 1.683 7 5. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:13.399 + 2.673 12 6. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:13.764 + 3.038 12 7. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:14.572 + 3.846 16 8. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:15.164 + 4.438 6 9. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) No Time 7 10. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) No Time 6 11. Button BAR-Honda (M) No Time 7 12. Sato BAR-Honda (M) No Time 6 13. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) No Time 5 14. Fisichella Renault (M) No Time 6 15. Webber Williams-BMW (M) No Time 4 16. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) No Time 7 17. Alonso Renault (M) No Time 4 18. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 4 19. Zonta Toyota (M) No Time 20. Trulli Toyota (M) No Time All timing unofficial 
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