Friday June 29th, 2001
David Coulthard once again set his race weekend in swing with the satisfaction of topping the times in Friday's free practice session for the French Grand Prix. Scot Coulthard, who was the only man to make it into the one minute 14s, clocked a time which was almost one second faster than last year's pole position.
Eddie Irvine was a surprise second as the Jaguar team continued their rise to form, while Jacques Villeneuve put the smile on the faces of British American Racing team members by clocking third fastest. Mika Hakkinen claimed fourth as McLaren once again put in their impressive Friday form, and the Williams pair were challenging at the sharp end with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya fifth and sixth. Championship leader Michael Schumacher was seventh fastest with the Ferrari.
Jos Verstappen's session was over almost before it began when the Asiatech engine in his Arrows A22 gave up as he headed down the pit straight. Olivier Panis' second practice was also over much too soon after he spun off in his BAR and was unable to recover.
Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya both had brief off-track excursions, then, half way through the session, Kimi Raikkonen shot off the track and avoided a big accident as he turned his Sauber away from the tyre wall. The Benetton team's expected rise did not really materialise, however, as a new engine failed to drag Jenson Button or Giancarlo Fisichella up the field.
Pos Driver Team Times
1. Coulthard Mclaren Mercedes (B) 1:14.935 204.225 km/h
2. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:15.133 + 0.198
3. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1:15.224 + 0.289
4. Hakkinen Mclaren Mercedes (B) 1:15.372 + 0.437
5. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:15.537 + 0.602
6. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:15.582 + 0.647
7. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:15.810 + 0.875
8. de la Rosa Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:16.140 + 1.205
9. Trulli Jordan Honda (B) 1:16.187 + 1.252
10. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:16.325 + 1.390
11. Panis BAR Honda (B) 1:16.364 + 1.429
12. Burti Prost Acer (M) 1:16.455 + 1.520
13. Frentzen Jordan Honda (B) 1:16.868 + 1.933
14. Raikkonen Sauber Petronas (B) 1:16.906 + 1.971
15. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:17.011 + 2.076
16. Alesi Prost Acer (M) 1:17.088 + 2.153
17. Button Benetton Renault (M) 1:17.172 + 2.237
18. Verstappen Arrows Asiatech (B) 1:17.285 + 2.350
19. Bernoldi Arrows Asiatech (B) 1:17.527 + 2.592
20. Fisichella Benetton Renault (M) 1:17.566 + 2.631
21. Alonso Minardi European (M) 1:17.866 + 2.931
22. Marques Minardi European (M) 1:18.372 + 3.437
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 12:02:28 GMT