Atlas F1 News Service

Saturday Second Free Practice - US GP

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.

In brief...

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

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