Practice 3: Easily Schumacher

Michael Schumacher completed just seven laps in the first free practice session of Saturday morning at Indianapolis - the least of any driver bar one - and he still ended up half a second quicker than his nearest rival Rubens Barrichello

Practice 3: Easily Schumacher

The German waited until 19 minutes from the end of the 45-minute session to go for a real flier and he immediately topped the times. His lap of 1m11.262s was over a second quicker than the best from David Coulthard, who had been on top until that moment.

The Scot exchanged lap times with Barrichello, Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, and McLaren team-mate Kimi Raikkonen throughout the session. But Michael's lap showed that all of them are in a lower class at the moment. Pole position could be a formality.

Barrichello edged closer to Schumacher with 10 minutes to go, making it a Ferrari one-two even though Rubens missed out on lapping during Friday following his early accident.

Coulthard ended up third, 0.4s down on Barrichello, but ahead of Montoya, Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher.

Giancarlo Fisichella was the best of the non-Ferrari/Williams/McLaren sextet in his Jordan, while Eddie Irvine backed up his Friday form with the eighth quickest time.

Jenson Button was down in 12th and Allan McNish a lowly 18th. Takuma Sato failed to set a time after being forced to abandon his smokey Jordan-Honda early in the session.

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