Friday July 13th, 2001
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher underlined his authority at a bright but cloudy Silverstone as he comfortably beat his McLaren rivals to top the times in the first practice session for Sunday's British Grand Prix.
Schumacher ended the initial hour 0.786 seconds ahead of his teammate Rubens Barrichello, with McLaren rivals Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard a further one tenth of a second behind. Such was the Ferrari and McLaren dominance in the top four that their nearest rivals Jordan were some 1.6 seconds off the fastest time with Heinz-Harald Frentzen in fifth.
Eddie Irvine brightened Jaguar's hopes with sixth place, but his teammate Pedro de la Rosa's British Grand Prix weekend started badly as he stopped out on circuit with just two minutes of the session gone to end his session early. Michael Schumacher put in an early fast lap as the first one of the top runners out of the pits, and shot to the top of the times.
One of the Arrows cars trailed smoke as it headed through Copse, and Luciano Burti in the Prost slowed with what looked like a similar problem before spinning at Vale and continuing to the pits. Olivier Panis had a brief off-track excursion in his British American Racing car as he spun in the Abbey chicane but managed to keep it together and get going again.
Ralf Schumacher lost the back end of his Williams as was sent spinning as he exited Bridge corner, then Jos Verstappen spun his Arrows on the exit of Luffield. With half of the session gone it was the McLaren team who were in the ascendancy, with Mika Hakkinen top of the times and his teammate David Coulthard just 0.017 seconds behind.
But with 15 minutes to go, Michael Schumacher boosted his confidence of achieving his 51st Grand Prix win by powering to the top of the pack by almost eight tenths of a second. Juan Pablo Montoya pushed a bit too hard as he headed into Vale with ten minutes to go and had a brief spin but was able to continue, but ended the session way down the order.
Kimi Raikkonen has similar troubles before the session ended as he spun and continued at Abbey, but finished two places higher than Montoya in 10th position. Several of the drivers used the end of the session to undertake some practice starts and all got away without any problems.
Pos Driver Team Times
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:23.619 221.332 km/h
2. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:24.405 + 0.786
3. Hakkinen Mclaren Mercedes (B) 1:24.413 + 0.794
4. Coulthard Mclaren Mercedes (B) 1:24.430 + 0.811
5. Frentzen Jordan Honda (B) 1:25.234 + 1.615
6. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:25.572 + 1.953
7. Panis BAR Honda (B) 1:25.617 + 1.998
8. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1:25.627 + 2.008
9. Trulli Jordan Honda (B) 1:25.908 + 2.289
10. Raikkonen Sauber Petronas (B) 1:25.923 + 2.304
11. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:26.168 + 2.549
12. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:26.324 + 2.705
13. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:26.663 + 3.044
14. Verstappen Arrows Asiatech (B) 1:26.809 + 3.190
15. Alesi Prost Acer (M) 1:26.814 + 3.195
16. Bernoldi Arrows Asiatech (B) 1:27.212 + 3.593
17. Burti Prost Acer (M) 1:27.311 + 3.692
18. Button Benetton Renault (M) 1:27.857 + 4.238
19. Fisichella Benetton Renault (M) 1:28.213 + 4.594
20. Alonso Minardi European (M) 1:28.541 + 4.922
21. Marques Minardi European (M) 1:29.850 + 6.231
22. de la Rosa Jaguar Cosworth (M) no time
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 11:03:13 GMT