Friday First Free Practice - Canadian GP
Friday June 16th, 2000
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello got off to a strong start in first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, with the fastest times in Friday's opening 60-minute session. "We had a very good test at Monza last week," Schumacher said, "And the small adjustments we made to the car there have translated well here. Everything has gone to plan this morning." Barrichello, who was only 0.094s slower, echoed those sentiments.
Coulthard Best of McLarens
As usual, both McLarens ran the first free practice session with plenty of fuel. "We always do that," David Coulthard said, "But in any case you need to do it here because braking is so crucial at this track, that you need to see where you are with braking performance." Neither car ran with the team's newly-developed power-assisted steering, but it is due to be tried tomorrow, following a successful trial at Monza last week. The team is celebrating its 500th GP this weekend, and also the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) that was bestowed upon team principal Ron Dennis in the Queen's birthday honours list this week.
Jaguar Looking Sharp
Both Jaguar drivers were pleased to be in the top six, though each said that the rear end of the car was twitchy under heavy braking for the chicane. "The track is still very green," Irvine said. The team made small set-up changes as the session went on, among them differential mapping work.
Verstappen Flies for Arrows
Jos Verstappen, sporting a new orange helmet to reflect his support for Holland's Euro 2000 football aspirations, was happy with the set-up of his Arrows on his way to seventh fastest time.
Fisichella on Form for Benetton
Giancarlo Fisichella complained of the 'green' state of the track but was otherwise happy with his Benetton, which will be tried with a new aerodynamic package on Saturday. Alexander Wurz struggled with excessive understeer.
Villeneuve High Hopes for BAR
In his home race, Jacques Villeneuve spent the morning focusing on mechanical set-up, in particular doing a lot of work on the brake balance. "The car feels quite good," he said, "But it's crucial to get the brakes right here." Team-mate Ricardo Zonta, who emerged from another heavy accident at Monza last week, spun twice, admitting that he was just pushing too hard.
Neither Jordan driver pushed hard on the dirty track, but concentrated on getting their braking set-ups perfected. While Jenson Button learned the track, Ralf Schumacher struggled with oil problems on his BMW engine and completed only two slow laps for Williams. He said it was too soon to say how much his leg injury, sustained in Monaco, was affecting him. The team has until qualifying to decide whether the German will run, or stand down for Bruno Junqueira.
Jean Alesi's Prost had an hydraulic leak, while Nick Heidfeld crashed early in the session.