Schumacher Surprised at Gap to Rivals

World Champion Michael Schumacher was surprised at the gap to his rivals in today's practice session for the United States Grand Prix.

Schumacher Surprised at Gap to Rivals

World Champion Michael Schumacher was surprised at the gap to his rivals in today's practice session for the United States Grand Prix.

Schumacher put Ferrari ahead of the rest after teammate Rubens Barrichello slammed his car into a wall. Schumacher returned to the Ferrari garages after Barrichello's accident and sat out the rest of the session before putting in 30 more laps in the afternoon.

The German, who clinched his record-equalling fifth Championship more than two months ago and is seeking his 11th win of the season, ended the day fastest after completing just four laps in the morning.

His time of 1:13.548 was more than half a second faster than Jaguar's Eddie Irvine, second quickest, and more than a second ahead of third placed David Coulthard with the McLaren.

"Overall, we can be reasonably pleased with today's work," said Schumacher. "Even though I did very few laps in the morning, the car proved to be on the pace immediately. Then, in the afternoon, I worked on a tyre programme. I have to say I am surprised at the gap to the others and the order is also a bit strange.

"But we will not see the true picture until tomorrow, as we cannot be sure what fuel loads the others were running today. There was not much grip on the track today, but we have seen a similar situation in the past here. It is the same for everyone."

Brazilian Barrichello, winner of the last Italian Grand Prix, dipped into the damp grass verge on the exit of turn 13 into the straight, spun 360 degrees and jinked across the track before hitting a wall broadside.

The high-speed impact, at the end of the Barrichello's opening installation lap on an overcast and damp morning, ripped off the left rear wheel and left a light scattering of debris across the asphalt.

Barrichello clambered out as the session, on an overcast and damp morning at the Motor Speedway, was halted for 19 minutes as track workers cleaned up the surface and retrieved the stricken car. Barrichello failed to get back out and was left without a lap time after the opening day.

"We think it might be a tyre thing, but we really don't know," Barrichello said.

shares
comments
Engine problem thwarts Montoya

Previous article

Engine problem thwarts Montoya

Next article

Schumacher surprised by advantage

Schumacher surprised by advantage
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021