F1: Schumacher dominates Hockenheim practice
23 July 2004, HOCKENHEIM - World champion Michael Schumacher took a first step towards a rare victory at his German home Grand Prix when he led the way in the second practice session on Friday.
23 July 2004
HOCKENHEIM - World champion Michael Schumacher took a first step towards a rare victory at his German home Grand Prix when he led the way in the second practice session on Friday.
Ferrari star Schumacher clocked 1 minute 15.001 seconds for the 4.574-kilometres course, showing no signs that he was hampered by a flu in the sweltering German heat.
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen placed second in a McLaren-Mercedes in 1:15.045 minutes and Juan Pablo Montoya of the Williams-BMW team came third on 1:15.167.
The first session earlier Friday saw BAR-Honda test driver Anthony Davidson of Britain first in 1:15.756 ahead of Schumacher (1:15.864) and Raikkonen (1:16.318).
"The heat and the flu don't really match. I hope to be fit by the time of the race on Sunday," said Schumacher.
But the German added his overall optimism although he has managed only two of his 80 career wins at Hockenheim, in 1995 and 2002.
"I am quite satisfied. We had a good basis from the outset and had good results," said Schumacher, whose team used the two sessions to test different types of Bridgestone tyres.
"We tested both types and must now carefully analyse which of them is the right choice," he said.
He enters this year's edition with 10 wins from 11 season races for 100 points and a massive lead over team-mate Rubens Barrichello (74) and Jenson Button of the BAR team (53).
Ferrari can clinch the constructors title ahead of the final six season races if everything goes their way at Hockenheim.
"It would be nice if we can win the constructors title here," said Schumacher.
The Mercedes camp was also happy with the performance of Raikkonen, who placed second two weeks ago in Silverstone and won the pole there.
"Kimi was fast and reliable. It was a good start into the weekend," said Mercedes motorsports chief Norbert Haug.
Williams were satisfied with Montoya's result as well as the fifth place finish of Antonio Pizzonia, who is driving for injured Ralf Schumacher.
"It was a good Friday session. Antonio did a good job and got used to the car immediately," said BMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen.
Subject: German news