USGP: Coulthard fastest on day one

David Coulthard may have missed practically all of the first practice session, but the McLaren-Mercedes driver bounced back with fastest time of the day in the second session

USGP: Coulthard fastest on day one

In an intriguing opening day on the combined road course and oval circuit, the McLaren pair only did eight laps between them in the opening hour. Coulthard's car stopped on only his second lap, forcing him to miss the rest of the session.

Coulthard was immediately on the pace in the second hour, with his fourth timed lap of the all-new track putting him fifth and two laps later he was up to third.

The Scot's best, a 1m14.561s was four tenths faster then Michael Schumacher's morning time. The German was unable to improve on his morning time in the second session.

Under sunny skies and 25 degree temperatures, there was a lot of experimentation with settings as the Grand Prix teams got to grips with the unique challenge offered by the Indy track.

This showed up most in the speed trap times, with Arrows's Jos Verstappen running a low downforce set-up to record 351.5kph across the finish line. Other teams running more downforce were in the 320-330kph range.

The spectacle of cars running flat out through the daunting banked final corner and onto the famous straight is one not to be missed.

Turn three seemed to be the most difficult, the gravel trap claiming Jean Alesi and Jos Verstappen, while Eddie Irvine was able to rejoin after his spin.

Irvine's Jaguar team-mate Johnny Herbert grazed the wall at top speed as he started to brake for the first corner and his car snapped left. The resulting broken wheel ended his running.

While it was the usual McLaren, McLaren, Ferrari, Ferrari order at the front, there were some notable performances behind, most notably Marc Gene who was ninth quickest in the Minardi

For combined first and second practice session results, click here.

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