SAN MARINO GP - FRIDAY - PRACTICE SESSION 1 REPORT

Schumacher plays the magician

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher 

 © The Cahier Archive

Ferrari always seems to have a little magic available when it comes to its home circuit at Imola and we saw it once again on Friday morning when Michael Schumacher emerged from the pitlane after 55 minutes of the one hour session and promptly set the fastest time of the session on only his second flying lap. The other major players did not bother with public relations exercises and so it is difficult to judge whether or not the time is significant. However it did beat Williams-Cosworth test driver Alexander Wurz by nearly four-tenths of a second. Wurz had completed a total of 19 laps doing homework for Williams.

For much of the session Wurz was trading the fastest lap with BMW's test driver Robert Kubica and Honda's Anthony Davidson. Most of the major runners did not bother going out, preferring to stay in the garages and not risk their engines more than absolutely necessary. Things perked up in the final 10 minutes with the two Ferraris getting the fans excited but the others seemed happy to keep their powder dry.

Kubica ended up third quickest with Davidson fourth and Jarno Trulli fifth ahead of Red Bull Racing test driver Robert Doornbos. Felipe Massa was seventh ahead of David Coulthard (Red Bull) and Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren-Mercedes) while the top 10 was completed by Christijan Albers in his MF1.

The only other drivers to complete timed laps were Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), Giorgio Mondini (MF1), Christian Klien (Red Bull), Neel Jani (Toro Rosso), Tiago Monteiro (MF1), Tonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso), Takuma Sato (Super Aguri) and Yuji Ide (Super Aguri).