Atlas F1 News Service

Friday Second Free Practice - Belgian GP

Friday August 25th, 2000

Coulthard retains top spot

Although most drivers were able to improve their morning times during this afternoon's second free practice session, a slow puncture on David Coulthard's McLaren-Mercedes prevented him from going for a quicker final lap after improving the set-up of his car during the session. Despite that, his morning time was quick enough to ensure the fastest time of the day, his teammate Mika Hakkinen improving to the second fastest time of the session, but still half a second of Coulthard's pace. Hakkinen spent much of the session changing the set-up of his car, still not happy with the overall handling despite taking the second fastest time.

Herbert surprises for Jaguar

Johnny Herbert surprised everyone right at the end of the afternoon session when he set the third fastest time of the day for Jaguar. He was very happy with the balance of his car and ran a quick time, admittedly with a light fuel load. On the other hand, Irvine was struggling with the balance of his Jaguar and ran a heavier fuel load, unable to better 16th quickest time for the day.

Villeneuve shines at Spa

A fast circuit and some gritty corners are just the recipe for the BAR and Jacques Villeneuve to go well, the Canadian setting an impressive fourth fastest time of the session after working on the set-up of his car and running a total of 31 laps for the day and a fresh set of tyres at the end of the session. Zonta also ran fresh tyres and 26 laps, but in contrast complained of no grip, over and understeer and was not at all happy with his car or 15th place.

Schumacher fifth, but confident

Although Michael Schumacher did not better fifth fastest time for the day, he was confident that things would improve tomorrow. He stayed on the same set of tyres all day running 21 laps as he tried to best balance his car for the entire lap. "It's not bad on the first and last sectors, but I need to improve it for the second sector medium fast corners and for the chicane," said Michael. In contrast Rubens Barrichello was not at all happy with the handling of his Ferrari. "I will have to start from zero tomorrow morning," he said after ending up ninth quickest for the day despite running a second set of tyres at the end.

Benetton get better

Both Alexander Wurz and Giancarlo Fisichella managed to dial out the understeer problems of the morning session, Wurz setting an impressive sixth quickest, two places ahead of his teammate who complained that he still had some work to do on the handling for the fast corners.

Verstappen well up for Arrows

Despite problems with his car's electronic control unit, Jos Verstappen improved to an impressive seventh fastest time today, team-mate Pedro de la Rosa back in 20th place having lost a lot of time in the morning with what turned out to be an hydraulic problem.

In Brief...

Trulli continued to have a trouble free day with his Jordan setting 10th fastest time. Frentzen was back in 17th place losing more time after the team changed the differential following the morning session. Both Sauber drivers were unhappy with their cars' handling, Diniz taking the best time with 14th place, Salo back in 18th spot. Both Prosts were at the bottom of the time sheets, Alesi 21st after losing all the morning session and Heidfeld 22nd, unable to find any grip from his chassis.

Pos  Driver          Team                 Times                 
 1.  Coulthard       McLaren Mercedes     1:53.398   221.210 km/h
 2.  Hakkinen        McLaren Mercedes     1:53.919   +    0.521  
 3.  Herbert         Jaguar Cosworth      1:53.945   +    0.547  
 4.  Villeneuve      BAR Honda            1:54.136   +    0.738  
 5.  M.Schumacher    Ferrari              1:54.226   +    0.828  
 6.  Wurz            Benetton Playlife    1:54.266   +    0.868  
 7.  Verstappen      Arrows Supertec      1:54.338   +    0.940  
 8.  Fisichella      Benetton Playlife    1:54.350   +    0.952  
 9.  Barrichello     Ferrari              1:54.502   +    1.104  
10.  Trulli          Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:54.666   +    1.268  
11.  Gene            Minardi Fondmetal    1:54.832   +    1.434  
12.  R.Schumacher    Williams BMW         1:55.209   +    1.811  
13.  Button          Williams BMW         1:55.270   +    1.872  
14.  Diniz           Sauber Petronas      1:55.312   +    1.914  
15.  Zonta           BAR Honda            1:55.546   +    2.148  
16.  Irvine          Jaguar Cosworth      1:55.645   +    2.247  
17.  Frentzen        Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:55.750   +    2.352  
18.  Salo            Sauber Petronas      1:55.847   +    2.449  
19.  Mazzacane       Minardi Fondmetal    1:56.122   +    2.724  
20.  de la Rosa      Arrows Supertec      1:56.252   +    2.854  
21.  Alesi           Prost Peugeot        1:56.508   +    3.110  
22.  Heidfeld        Prost Peugeot        1:56.857   +    3.459

All timing unofficial

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