WilliamsBMW's Ralf Schumacher looks to have put his injury sustained at the United States Grand Prix in June well and truly behind him behind him as he headed to the top of the timesheets in the first free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday. Team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya made it a 1-2 for Williams as the pair outshone Ferrari duo Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, who were third and fourth respectively
Montoya looked certain to hold the top spot, but a late flying effort by Schumacher Jr in the dying seconds of the session ensured he got one over on his Colombian team-mate.
Despite being outpace by the Williams, third and fourth was a vast improvement for Ferrari, particularly Schumacher Sr, who found himself down the order in both practice sessions on Friday. Technical chief Ross Brawn admitted yesterday that the team was not where it wanted to be and promised to come up with some answers overnight.
Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella has placed himself high in the order with the fifth quickest time, clearly building on his solid effort in Friday's session. The Italian outclassed the McLarens and the BARs, who both performed well yesterday on the 'green' circuit. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth quickest this morning while team-mate David Coulthard was ninth. The Scot had a brief trip across the gravel coming out of the banked corner that leads onto the back straight in the remaining minutes of the session as he pushed the MP4-19B to its limits.
Stars of the show yesterday, BAR, were out of the picture in this first session with Jenson Button in eighth behind the Toyota of Ricardo Zonta while Takuma Sato, who will be docked 10 places after qualifying this afternoon due to an engine change, was 12th quickest.
Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has moved up the order after his disappointing efforts on Friday. Today he was nearly three tenths quicker than team-mate Fernando Alonso in 10th spot.
Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant
In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge
Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?
OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation
OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history
Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead