Saturday September 23rd, 2000
Ferrari back on top in final free practice
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were back at the head of the time sheets this morning in the final free practice session before this afternoon's all-important qualifying session. Both drivers spent the session working on tyre comparisons and qualifying set-up, a job made more difficult by a wet track at the start of the session, which gradually dried as the session continued.
Coulthard third for McLaren
Both McLaren drivers worked on full fuel race set-up this morning which saw Coulthard third fastest for the session, his team-mate Mika Hakkinen back in fifth place complaining of too much oversteer on the infield section.
Button still well up for Williams
Jenson Button was delighted with the overall handling of his Williams by the end of the session which saw him fit a fresh set of tyres to take the fourth fastest time. "The infield section is very tricky, you have to be very sensitive on the throttle," reported Button. Ralf Schumacher, whose car suffered a puncture in the opening laps, was not as happy as his team-mate by the end of the session, which had seen him make one trip across the grass. "It is very nervous," reported the German.
Frentzen still looking for a top six spot
Heinz-Harald Frentzen took the sixth fastest time of the session and is hoping for a place in the top six after qualifying. He had another trouble free session with his Jordan, but found it difficult to fine-tune his car on the constantly changing track conditions. Jarno Trulli had a minor engine problem which cost him some power, but continued the rest of the session to take 10th fastest before the team set about an engine change for qualifying.
Fisichella happier today
After setting some 34 laps this morning, Giancarlo Fisichella was a lot happier with his Benetton this morning than he was after yesterday's limited practice. He tried both types of tyre, but didn't find a big performance difference. Wurz complained of a bad oversteer problem this morning and set the 16th time of the session, which included a spin in the slippery early conditions.
Last this morning, Marc Gene had a spin but could not work out why he was slower than yesterday, which saw him tenth quickest. Villeneuve was a bit happier with his BAR's handling this morning, but said he could still improve traction out of the slower corners. Pedro Diniz was happy with his Sauber although he found it harder to balance with fresh tyres. Meanwhile, Salo complained of both oversteer and understeer from his car and did not better 18th quickest. Jean Alesi was still languishing back in 21st place, the Frenchman complaining of massive understeer giving him no confidence in the car.
Pos Driver Team Times
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:14.804 201.888 km/h
2. Barrichello Ferrari 1:15.014 + 0.210
3. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:15.139 + 0.335
4. Button Williams BMW 1:15.153 + 0.349
5. Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:15.293 + 0.489
6. Frentzen Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:15.399 + 0.595
7. Fisichella Benetton Playlife 1:15.626 + 0.822
8. Villeneuve BAR Honda 1:15.637 + 0.833
9. R.Schumacher Williams BMW 1:15.738 + 0.934
10. Trulli Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:16.077 + 1.273
11. Diniz Sauber Petronas 1:16.169 + 1.365
12. Zonta BAR Honda 1:16.180 + 1.376
13. Verstappen Arrows Supertec 1:16.260 + 1.456
14. Herbert Jaguar Cosworth 1:16.308 + 1.504
15. Heidfeld Prost Peugeot 1:16.363 + 1.559
16. Wurz Benetton Playlife 1:16.368 + 1.564
17. de la Rosa Arrows Supertec 1:16.508 + 1.704
18. Salo Sauber Petronas 1:16.542 + 1.738
19. Mazzacane Minardi Fondmetal 1:16.653 + 1.849
20. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth 1:16.662 + 1.858
21. Alesi Prost Peugeot 1:17.100 + 2.296
22. Gene Minardi Fondmetal 1:17.317 + 2.513
All timing unofficial