Practice 1: Montoya quickest

Juan Pablo Montoya kicked off his challenge for victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix in perfect style as he set the pace in opening practice at the Interlagos track on Friday morning. Pre-race favourites Ferrari have so far struggled to find pace in the final race of the season

Practice 1: Montoya quickest

Montoya moved to the top of the timesheets in the final minute of the session as the Michelin-shod teams appeared to be in better shape for the weekend than their rival Bridgestone runners. Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was the quickest runner on the Japanese rubber, setting the ninth quickest time, while Michael Schumacher was an uncharacteristic 11th.

Michelin's strong pace was proved with Toyota test driver Ryan Briscoe setting an impressive second fastest time in his Toyota, just 0.067 seconds slower than Montoya's best lap of one minute 12.547 seconds.

Ralf Schumacher added to Williams' strong start to the weekend with the third quickest time, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Anthony Davidson, David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli.

The pace of the Ferraris was a mystery, as the world championship winning cars have traditionally been ultra quick in first practice sessions before losing their edge over the rest of the weekend as the increased rubber on the track surface played into the hands of the Michelin runners.

Schumacher himself had a far from straightforward session, with an on-track mix-up with Jarno Trulli causing him to abort one of his quick laps and then his rear light came loose at one point and forced him into the pits.

Jacques Villeneuve's trouble return to F1 continued as he could only set the 17th quickest time - two seconds slower than Montoya's best and four tenths of Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso who was 10th fastest.

The first session on the dusty Interlagos track was fairly incident free. Christian Klien had a spin in his Jaguar at the first corner, while Toyota's Ricardo Zonta spun at Turn 4 as he prepared for his home grand prix.

shares
comments
Mexico to join F1 calendar

Previous article

Mexico to join F1 calendar

Next article

Friday First Free Practice - Brazilian GP

Friday First Free Practice - Brazilian GP
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021