Practice 2: Schuey heads Ferrari 1-2

Michael Schumacher headed Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello at the top of the timesheets after the second practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Practice 2: Schuey heads Ferrari 1-2

Schumacher had an early scare when he was forced to grab an armful of opposite lock on the exit of the Ascari chicane, and briefly ran through the gravel trap as a result. He steadily chipped away at his time from the first session, eventually working down to a 1m22.433s, two-tenths away from last year's pole position time.

His Ferrari team-mate Barrichello bounced back from a disastrous opening session, when he was stranded in the pits with brake problems. The Brazilian ended up just two-tenths slower than his world champion colleague.

Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) was half a second off the pace, but that was good enough for the third fastest time. He had a brief off-track excursion at the first Lesmo, but recovered to set 1m23.016s.

McLaren team-mate David Coulthard's disappointing day got worse when he spun off into the tyrewall at Lesmo 1 just a few minutes into the session after dropping a wheel on to the grass before he turned into the corner. As a result, he slumped down the order to an eventual 16th.

Jaguar continued its resurgent form with Eddie Irvine in fourth and Pedro de la Rosa eighth. The latter had a huge scare when he went off at the high-speed Parabolica, but kept his foot in and just missed the barrier. He immediately came on the radio and understated: "That was close!"

Williams-BMW's Juan Pablo Montoya only marginally improved his time over the first session, and had an on-track spat with Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella, which involved a bout of arm-waving at the Ascari chicane. He ended the day fifth fastest.

Toyota's Mika Salo, who will receive a P45 from the squad at the end of the season, was an impressive sixth fastest, ahead of the second Williams of Ralf Schumacher. Renault pairing Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button were almost inseparable in ninth and 10th.

Fisichella headed the Jordan vs BAR battle with the 11th fastest time, ahead of Jacques Villeneuve (BAR, 12th), Takuma Sato (Jordan, 14th) and Olivier Panis (BAR, 15th).

Allan McNish was only 18th in the second Toyota, losing valuable track time when the car stalled at the end of the pit lane, forcing him to get out and push it back to the garage. In the Minardi camp, meanwhile, Mark Webber outpaced the returning Alex Yoong, who spun on the exit of Ascari and nerfed the barrier.

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