Saturday Free Practice - Canadian GP
Saturday June 17th, 2000
Coulthard quick; Hakkinen thwarted
David Coulthard remained the fastest driver during free practice for the Canadian GP, but his McLaren teammate Mika Hakkinen was on a much quicker lap when he had to slow down because of yellow flags. Coulthard sat out the first half of the session when McLaren decided to change his engine, which had developed an obscure electrical problem, but set several fast times when he resumed running in the second half. Hakkinen, however, who was much happier with the balance of his MP4/15, was eight tenths under his time when he had to back off.
Ferrari stays in touch
Despite the speed of the McLarens, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were happy with the performance of their Ferraris. "We only made very small changes in set-up and we can improve a little bit more," Schumacher said. "We each ran only one set of tyres, and experimented with trying worn tyres on the front, and then on the rear, to explore the handling characteristics of the cars in different trim. This afternoon we need to guard against the rising temperature and changes in the wind direction."
Lucky Trulli shines for Jordan
Technical director Mike Gascoyne reported that there is little difference here between new or old tyres, so really it would be up to the drivers to choose what to run for qualifying. Trulli is leaning towards new rubber, but Frenzten is not yet decided. The Italian was very lucky to avoid an accident when he was nearly hit by Nick Heidfeld, who just managed to keep his Prost on the track after nearly spinning in the fast esses.
Ralf puts Williams back on track
Big set-up changes improved Williams' downforce and mechanical grip. Ralf Schumacher was very happy to have more grip and better traction, but felt his car's reaction was a little slow. "My leg is absolutely no problem here," he reported. Jenson Button was also happier, enjoying improved traction though still troubled by slight understeer in slow corners and the rear of the car bottoming.
Villeneuve aims for top 10
"The change in weather made things more difficult for us," Villeneuve said, but he was happy with the balance of his BAR-Honda and believes he can qualify in the top 10. Ricardo Zonta, meanwhile, continued to have gearbox problems, this time with the selection.
Salo fights for traction
Mika Salo still had problems with traction and the driveability of his Sauber's engine. ?Qualifying will be very difficult, unless you have an absolutely clear lap, the Finn said. ?If you go even slightly off line, the tyres get really dirty.? Pedro Diniz will use the spare car, after damaging his race car going over the kerb in the last corner.
Fisichella spun on oil dropped when Heidfeld's engine broke, but Wurz was a lot happier with the aerodynamic balance of his B200. Herbert was happy with his Jaguar's set-up, but Irvine struggled with the low downforce set-up and had three spins.