Montoya Quickest in Practice 1 - US

Juan Pablo Montoya put his troubles behind him to set the pace at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday morning when he finished fastest in the opening practice session for Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Montoya, who was disqualified from the last race in Canada after ignoring a red light at the exit of the pitlane, was back on top with a time of 1:12.027, a rare occasion that a race driver has topped the Friday times.

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta was on the pace again, setting the second fastest time of the morning and finishing just 0.058 seconds behind the lead McLaren with Fernando Alonso third for Renault some 0.639 seconds back.

Nick Heidfeld was fourth in the Williams, 0.777 seconds back, with Jenson Button, determined to get a podium this weekend, in fifth for BAR-Honda just ahead of McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa.

Spanish driver de la Rosa had set the early pace but soon after he set his lap time of 1:12.913 he pulled off the track at turn two and parked up to end his session early but his time was still good enough for sixth.

Takuma Sato made it two BAR-Hondas in the top seven with Giancarlo Fisichella eighth in the second Renault, Mark Webber ninth in the second Williams and World Champion Michael Schumacher just closing out the top ten for Ferrari.

Narain Karthikeyan pushed over the limit just before the halfway point and went off track at turn 11 then made another mistake two minutes later when he slid into the gravel trap at turn six but recovered to return to the pits.

Dutch driver Christijan Albers went off the track in his Minardi at turn four with 37 minutes gone and with 15 minutes to run De la Rosa was still in top spot with Alonso moving into second, Fisichella third and Button fourth.

Zonta finally moved ahead heading into the final ten minutes but Raikkonen, trying hard to put McLaren back on top, slid wide at turn 11 and went over the gravel on his first flying lap and failed to set a time in the session.

Montoya then went top with five minutes to run and under-pressure Villeneuve made a mistake and went over the gravel at turn 11 then Barrichello went off at turn one when distracted by Jenson Button behind him.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:12.027 6 2. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:12.085 + 0.058 18 3. Alonso Renault (M) 1:12.666 + 0.639 10 4. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:12.804 + 0.777 9 5. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:12.865 + 0.838 11 6. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:12.913 + 0.886 4 7. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:13.013 + 0.986 9 8. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:13.024 + 0.997 10 9. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:13.082 + 1.055 10 10. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:13.242 + 1.215 12 11. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:13.245 + 1.218 12 12. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:13.461 + 1.434 7 13. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:13.683 + 1.656 7 14. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:13.740 + 1.713 8 15. Speed Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:13.846 + 1.819 21 16. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:14.444 + 2.417 8 17. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:14.637 + 2.610 7 18. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:14.696 + 2.669 6 19. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:14.803 + 2.776 18 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:14.978 + 2.951 20 21. Doornbos Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:15.791 + 3.764 27 22. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:16.343 + 4.316 16 23. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:16.357 + 4.330 12 24. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) No Time 3 All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Author Will Gray
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