Ferraris scorch Melbourne in F1 practice
5 March 2004
SYDNEY – Six-time world champion Michael Schumacher blitzed the field Friday in the free practice session for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park track.
The 35-year-old German broke the two-year-old qualifying record in his second lap of the morning session in a time more than two seconds quicker than his pole position lap last season. He sliced another .40 of a second off that in the afternoon session, lapping at 1 minute 24.718 seconds.
Ferrari sidekick Rubens Barrichello (1:24.826) was second quickest.
The Renault of Jarno Trulli (1:25.757) was followed in by Jenson Button’s BAR-Honda (1:25.786).
Barrichello’s stablemate, Fernando Alonso, came in fifth (1:25.853).
Ralf Schumacher (1:25.882) came in ahead of fellow Williams-BMW driver Juan Pablo Montoya (1:26.206).
Kimi Raikkonen, the LcLaren-Mercedes driver who pushed Schumi so hard last season, clocked (1:26.579) to come in a disappointing tenth.
The session was largely incident-free after an early red flag when the Sauber-Petronas of Felipe Massa had mechanical problems and stopped on the track. Massa was able to get the car going for the afternoon session.
Under new rules, changing an engine would result in the car being moved back ten places back on Sunday’s grid.
Subject: German news