Atlas F1 News Service
Friday First Free Practice - Australian GP

Friday March 10th, 2000

Hakkinen-Schumacher back into the fight

At the end of the first practice session of the 2000 season McLaren's Mika Hakkinen and Scuderia Ferrari-Marlboro's Michael Schumacher were back where they left off in 2000 fighting for the top spot.

The honours went to Hakkinen, just a couple of tenths faster than Schumacher who coasted to a stop in the pit lane just before the end of the session when his car suffered an electrical problem. Both drivers were happy with their cars, working on basic set-up improvements for the slippery track surface which should improve dramatically as practice continues.

Rubens Barrichello took the third fastest time for Ferrari, equally happy with his car's initial performance as was Hakkinen's teammate David Coulthard, fourth fastest. "We were working through a development programme and didn't get as many laps as we had hoped," said Ron Dennis.

Villeneuve fifth fastest for BAR

Jacques Villeneuve will be happy if he is fifth fastest on Saturday afternoon, the Canadian making the most of the slippery conditions to get his BAR up into fifth place this morning. The team tested different steering wheels and worked on basic set-up, Ricardo Zonta ending his session after 20 laps when he spun off into a gravel trap , 13th fastest for the session.

Ralf well up for Williams

Ralf Schumacher was well up in sixth spot for Williams after just nine laps on the track, the German happy with his car's initial set-up, but side-lined early when an engine oil leak showed up on the car's undertray which the team investigated. Jenson Button took things easy in his first official F1 showing, careful not to get caught out by the slippery conditions.

Frentzen fiddling around

Heinz Harald Frentzen was seventh fastest, the German spending the session playing with set-ups in a bid to find a better handling."He was doing his usual first session fiddling around, but otherwise he is good shape ," said Mike Gascoyne. Jarno Trulli's run of testing bad luck with Jordan continued this morning. He did only one lap before a gearbox oil leak kept him in the garage for the rest of the session.

Arrows still well up After some promising winter testing times the Arrows team backed up that promise with eighth fastest time for Jos Verstappen, his teammate de la Rosa in 16th place.

In brief...

Irvine took ninth place for Jaguar despite a punctured rear left tyre at one stage , but team-mate Herbert was sidelined after five laps with a probable engine problem which automatically cuts out the ignition system. Another bad day for Prost. They each did only 7 laps, Alesi when he pulled off with an electrical problem and Heidfeld when he spun into a gravel trap.

Pos  Driver        Team                 Time                  
 1.  Hakkinen      McLaren Mercedes     1:32.738              
 2.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari              1:32.965   +  0:00.227
 3.  Barrichello   Ferrari              1:33.060   +  0:00.322
 4.  Coulthard     McLaren Mercedes     1:33.400   +  0:00.662
 5.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda            1:33.983   +  0:01.245
 6.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW         1:34.158   +  0:01.420
 7.  Frentzen      Jordan Mugen-Honda   1:34.645   +  0:01.907
 8.  Verstappen    Arrows Supertec      1:34.745   +  0:02.007
 9.  Irvine        Jaguar Cosworth      1:34.747   +  0:02.009
10.  Wurz          Benetton Playlife    1:34.814   +  0:02.076
11.  Fisichella    Benetton Playlife    1:34.899   +  0:02.161
12.  Diniz         Sauber Petronas      1:34.935   +  0:02.197
13.  Zonta         BAR Honda            1:35.076   +  0:02.338
14.  Button        Williams BMW         1:35.180   +  0:02.442
15.  Salo          Sauber Petronas      1:35.235   +  0:02.497
16.  de la Rosa    Arrows Supertec      1:35.316   +  0:02.578
17.  Gene          Minardi Fondmetal    1:35.494   +  0:02.756
18.  Mazzacane     Minardi Fondmetal    1:36.245   +  0:03.507
19.  Herbert       Jaguar Cosworth      1:36.841   +  0:04.103
20.  Alesi         Prost Peugeot        1:37.457   +  0:04.719
21.  Heidfeld      Prost Peugeot        1:37.926   +  0:05.188
22.  Trulli        Jordan Mugen-Honda   No Time Set           

All timing unofficial

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