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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