Schumacher: Ferrari Looking Good

World Champion Michael Schumacher was cautiously optimistic after a promising performance from his Ferrari team in Friday's practice for the United States Grand Prix

"Everything went quite well today and we were able to cure a balance problem I had early in the morning session," said Schumacher, a three times winner at Indianapolis.

"We are looking good for a Friday, especially if you compare our performance with that in Canada a week ago.

"The track seems much smoother with the new surface, particularly in the area of the start-finish line. Now we must wait and see what we can do in qualifying, when it will be good that I will be making my run towards the end of the session."

The Ferrari driver, fourth quickest, saw his brother Ralf crashing heavily at Indianapolis for the second year running after the Toyota hit the wall at high speed in the second session.

Schumacher was relieved to see his brother escaped injury this time.

"I was just coming back to the pits when it happened, so the first thing I knew about it was seeing him get out of the car unaided and walk away," he said. "I am glad he is okay and also glad that the modifications we asked for to be made to the wall were carried out, after his accident there last year."

Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello finished in third place today to give further encouragement to Ferrari.

"It has been a long time since we have had such a good Friday," said Barrichello. "I am happy with the set-up, with the balance of the car and the Bridgestone tyres. We look much more competitive than we have done at some of the other races.

"We still have quite a bit of work to do to ensure we maintain this level in qualifying. I like this track and the atmosphere is very relaxed here. We had no problems today and that meant we were able to get through all our programme.

"Michael and I are doing similar lap times, even though we are running slightly different set-up on our cars. We have done well here in the past and let's hope that continues this weekend."

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