Friday April 21st, 2000
Frentzen heads first free practice
Heinz-Harald Frentzen and the Jordan team took advantage of the dry track at the start of the first free practice session to claim the fastest lap of the morning. His team-mate Trulli was fifth fastest. Both drivers were happy with their car's in te dry, while they later ran in the wet conditions, Frentzen again setting the quickest time.
Irvine troubled by wind
Eddie Irvine set the second fastest time of the session for Jaguar, but said afterwards that he had enormous problems with the gusting variable winds on the quicker parts of the track. Johnny Herbert's weekend got off to a bad start when he came to a stop after three laps when the pneumatic valve pressure disappeared.
Although David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen were unable to better third and fourth fastest times, neither driver seemed too concerned, the team having found an improved aerodynamic set-up during last week's testing. Hakkinen ran less laps while the team tried to solve a radio failure.
Villeneuve sixth but stops
Jacques Villeneuve struggled with a bad oversteer problem from his BAR on his way to sixth fastest time. His hopes of making a back-to-back run on different tyres were spoiled by the rain before he finally parked with gear selection troubles. Zonta had a trouble free session on his way to 19th place, the driver un-phased by a huge crash last week caused by a front suspension failure which has been modified for the race.
with both Ferrari drivers not bothering to run until the rain began, it was hardly surprising to see Barrichello back in 7th place and Schumacher 20th.
Jenson Button took 11th quickest for Williams, also complaining of the winds upsetting the car, while Ralf Schumacher did not get a time when his car stopped with a total electrical failure.
Both Prost drivers had electrical problems with their Peugeot engines all equipped with variable inlet trumpets for this race. Tomorrow they will use a special qualifying Evo 3 engine which they plan to keep for the race.
Marc Gene had to have an engine change on his Minardi when he lost valve pressure. For Mazzacane, it was his first ever drive in the wet in an F1 car.
Mika Salo was complaining of too much oversteer from his Sauber. Pedro Diniz parked his Arrows in the rain when the engine died.