Practice 4: No stopping Schumacher

Michael Schumacher continued where in left off earlier today (Saturday) by setting a scintillating pace in the final session of free practice for the Austrian GP. The world champion routed the opposition, setting the only 1m08s lap of a session in which he had 0.7s in hand over his rivals. Rubens Barrichello was again second quickest, but the Brazilian was only fractions ahead of the Williams of Ralf Schumacher

Practice 4: No stopping Schumacher

In fact less than a second covered all the cars between second and 15th (Jarno Trulli). Juan Pablo Montoya was right on his team-mate's tail in fourth, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen was fifth ahead of the Saubers of Felipe Massa and Nick Heidfeld in sixth and seventh, once again demonstrating the strength of the Bridgestone tyres. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was eighth, half a second behind Barrichello, but David Coulthard was a disappointing 13th.

Alex Yoong was the first driver of the day to pay a visit to one of the A1-Ring's many gravels traps. The Malaysian lost the rear of his Minardi on the exit of Jochen Rindt and spun off the circuit.

A few minutes later Kimi Raikkonen bounced his McLaren over the kerbs and onto the grass through the last corner, but he kept control and made it back onto the track without any visible damage. Takuma Sato continued his love affair with the run-offs areas when he understeered wide through Power Horse and once off line could do nothing to prevent a brief trip into the gravel. He too was able to continue.

Mark Webber was fortunate to get away with a 360-degree spin through the last corner. The Australian hooked his right front over the kerb on the inside of the corner, which pitched him into a spin. Fortunately his Minardi skipped over the kitty litter and he was able to rejoin. Michael Schumacher and Coulthard also ran over the gravel at the same corner and like Webber they continued.

The one driver who didn't manage to get going was Arrows' Enrique Bernoldi who went into the gravel backwards at Remus where he became stuck. Fortunately for the Brazilian there was just seconds of the session remaining at the time.

For full practice session 4 results, click here.

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