Saturday Second Free Practice - Malaysian GP

Coulthard quickest into qualifying

Saturday Second Free Practice - Malaysian GP

Coulthard quickest into qualifying

By the end of the final free practice session before the afternoon qualifying session it was David Coulthard leading the time sheets after he took his McLaren around the Sepang circuit one tenth of a second quicker than Schumacher's Ferrari. It was a trouble free morning for Coulthard whose only problem was a trip across a gravel trap, which did not damage his car. Mika Hakkinen did not better fourth fastest, but was confident about his qualifying performance, like Coulthard, the Finn spending the morning on the same set of tyre playing with different chassis set-up options.

Schumacher second after good morning's work

Michael Schumacher had a busy morning running 30 laps in his Ferrari, which saw him try different aerodynamic solutions including a different nose/front wing section during the session. "It was a good morning's work preparing for the race and qualifying, but the car is still not exactly how I would like it," said Schumacher, who will be hoping for another pole in his final race of the season. Rubens Barrichello was well back in fifth spot working on race set-up but not happy with the balance on his car.

Strong third for Wurz

Rumored to be doted with a special qualifying engine for his last race with Benetton, Alexander Wurz took the third fastest time of the session this morning despite a trip across a gravel trap. "The car feels good. I just have to work on a bit of understeer," said Wurz. Giancarlo Fisichella had gearbox trouble in the first part of the session and then later had a spin. He was also complaining of too much understeer in the slow corners.

Jaguar sixth and seventh

Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine set an impressive sixth and seventh this morning, but were working on new tyres most of the time as they tried to find the best combination of rubber for the race and qualifying. They were finding it difficult to maintain good performance as the tyres started to wear.

Button ahead for Williams

Despite losing (only) 50 minutes for an engine change at the start of the session due to a hydraulic problem with his Williams-BMW, Jenson Button came back onto the track just before the end of the session and set the eighth fastest time. He also complained of too much oversteer in the high-speed corners and a lack of traction. Ralf Schumacher concentrated on different aerodynamic solutions, tyre combinations and spring rates, but did now manage to better 11th quickest for the morning.

In brief...

Both BAR drivers ran a parallel program this morning, mainly working on tyre choices for the race using three sets during the session. Villeneuve was ninth with Zonta 12th. Jarno Trulli had a trouble free session, but did not better 10th this morning, the Italian not very optimistic about being well up this weekend. Frentzen was back in 20th spot after an engine sensor failure on his first lap cost him the first half of the session and then he spun into a gravel trap after 10- laps in the second half. "It's going to take a bit of guesswork on the right set-up now," he said after missing so much running.

Pos Driver Team Times 1. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:38.109 203.394 km/h 2. M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:38.203 + 0.094 3. Wurz Benetton Playlife 1:38.318 + 0.209 4. Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:38.348 + 0.239 5. Barrichello Ferrari 1:38.955 + 0.846 6. Herbert Jaguar Cosworth 1:39.107 + 0.998 7. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth 1:39.110 + 1.001 8. Button Williams BMW 1:39.230 + 1.121 9. Villeneuve BAR Honda 1:39.337 + 1.228 10. Trulli Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:39.382 + 1.273 11. R.Schumacher Williams BMW 1:39.430 + 1.321 12. Zonta BAR Honda 1:39.440 + 1.331 13. Heidfeld Prost Peugeot 1:39.794 + 1.685 14. de la Rosa Arrows Supertec 1:39.798 + 1.689 15. Verstappen Arrows Supertec 1:39.812 + 1.703 16. Salo Sauber Petronas 1:39.839 + 1.730 17. Fisichella Benetton Playlife 1:39.849 + 1.740 18. Diniz Sauber Petronas 1:39.916 + 1.807 19. Alesi Prost Peugeot 1:39.988 + 1.879 20. Frentzen Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:40.551 + 2.442 21. Gene Minardi Fondmetal 1:41.806 + 3.697 22. Mazzacane Minardi Fondmetal 1:42.370 + 4.261 All timing unofficial

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