Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Saturday Second Free Practice - Australian GP

Saturday March 3rd, 2001

David Coulthard shattered the Albert Park lap record during a sizzling warm-up for Saturday's official qualifying session at the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

The Scot, who won the Australian Grand Prix in 1997, powered his silver McLaren around the Melbourne street circuit in 1:27.540.

He beat the previous record of 1:27.561 set just minutes earlier by Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher on a day of super-fast times.

Coulthard's Finnish teammate Mika Hakkinen was third fastest during the warm-up with Germany's Heinz-Harald Frentzen fourth ahead of his Jordan teammate Jarno Trulli.

The first five drivers all broke Canadian Jacques Villeneuve's previous lap record of 1:28.594 which had stood since 1997 when slick tyres were still allowed.

Schumacher showed no side effects from his frightening high-speed crash the previous day as he set the early pace in his Ferrari, clocking 1:28.134 in the first of the two 45-minute practices.

The German, who walked away unscathed after flipping his car twice on Friday afternoon, then returned after a half hour break to lower his time to 1:27.561 before Coulthard overtook him just before the practice was halted.

But it was not all good news for the Ferrari team.

Schumacher's teammate, Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, had been fastest in Friday's practice but only completed six laps on Saturday when his engine blew.

And Schumacher himself did not complete the second session, pulling up on the side of the road when his front wheels locked, believed to be caused by a stone.

Pos. Driver        Team                  Times                 
 1.  Coulthard     McLaren Mercedes (B)  1:27.540  218.081 km/h
 2.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari          (B)  1:27.561    +    0.021
 3.  Hakkinen      McLaren Mercedes (B)  1:27.775    +    0.235
 4.  Frentzen      Jordan Honda     (B)  1:27.940    +    0.400
 5.  Trulli        Jordan Honda     (B)  1:28.193    +    0.653
 6.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW     (M)  1:28.666    +    1.126
 7.  Panis         BAR Honda        (B)  1:28.677    +    1.137
 8.  Raikkonen     Sauber Petronas  (B)  1:28.851    +    1.311
 9.  Irvine        Jaguar Cosworth  (M)  1:28.861    +    1.321
10.  Heidfeld      Sauber Petronas  (B)  1:28.895    +    1.355
11.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda        (B)  1:28.962    +    1.422
12.  Montoya       Williams BMW     (M)  1:29.184    +    1.644
13.  Barrichello   Ferrari          (B)  1:29.945    +    2.405
14.  Alesi         Prost Acer       (M)  1:29.981    +    2.441
15.  Alonso        European Minardi (M)  1:30.360    +    2.820
16.  Fisichella    Benetton Renault (M)  1:30.549    +    3.009
17.  Burti         Jaguar Cosworth  (M)  1:30.578    +    3.038
18.  Bernoldi      Arrows Asiatech  (B)  1:30.782    +    3.242
19.  Button        Benetton Renault (M)  1:30.893    +    3.353
20.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech  (B)  1:31.590    +    4.050
21.  Mazzacane     Prost Acer       (M)  1:34.431    +    6.891
22.  Marques       European Minardi (M)  1:34.491    +    6.951

All timing unofficial



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