APRIL 2, 2005
Saturday morning practice - Webber leads the way
Mark Webber set the fastest lap of the practice session on Saturday morning in Bahrain with a lap of 1m29.527s, which is 0.6sec under Michael Schumacher's pole time from last year. The BMW Williams driver was one of nine drivers who went faster than Schumacher's pole from 12 months ago.
Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli confirmed the pace of the Toyotas with the second and fourth fastest times of the two sessions. Giancarlo Fisichella was third in his Renault but made a mistake in the final sector and probably would have gone a little faster. McLaren was also competitive with Kimi Raikkonen going fifth fastest ahead of the second Renault of Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa's McLaren, a good effort from the Spaniard who is standing in for the injured Juan Pablo Montoya.
Red Bull Racing's Christian Klien was eighth ahead of Michael Schumacher in the new F2005. The World Champion could have gone quicker but was baulked on his final flying lap and so would probably have been in amongst the frontrunning bunch. Nick Heidfeld was ninth quickest in the second Williams ahead of Jenson Button's BAR-Honda, the Englishman still struggling to get his car up to speed in qualifying trim.
David Coulthard was 12th fastest ahead of Takuma Sato while the two Saubers were 14th and 15th, Jacques Villeneuve finally getting close to Felipe Massa's pace.
The unluckiest man of the weekend is Rubens Barrichello who has been out of action since Friday morning following a major failure of his gearbox and the fact that Ferrari did not have a spare unit. The new box is due to arrive in Bahrain in time for final qualifying on Sunday morning but Barrichello will have to qualify this afternoon with a botched-up version of the original.
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