Friday March 30th, 2001
David Coulthard put in a dominant performance to top the times by one second after Friday's free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as Ferrari failed to show their expected form.
The McLaren man set a time of 1:15.220 seconds, and his day could not be spoiled by a late spin into the gravel at the end of the session.
Coulthard, second overall in the championship, played down the significance of the times but was clearly pleased with his car after McLaren were comprehensively outclassed by Ferrari in the season's first two races.
"We have some changes here on the car which we evaluated this morning for running properly and definitely the car was performing more efficiently," he said.
"I don't want to say too much until we find out where we are in qualifying but I'm definitely encouraged.
"We've clearly been working hard because as you can see from Australia and Malaysia then we weren't on the pace. Today I'm not saying we are but we're definitely a little bit closer.
Jordan's Jarno Trulli put in several fast flying laps to slowly move his Jordan up to second in the session, while Michael Schumacher was the first of the Ferraris in an unfamiliar third place.
Juan Pablo Montoya put the Williams up to fourth, and his team-mate Ralf Schumacher completed a good day for the British team with sixth.
Mika Hakkinen ended in fifth, but was more than one and a half seconds off his McLaren team-mate Coulthard's pace.
Times tumbled right from the start of the session, with Coulthard soon moving to the top of the times, and the Scot was the first man to break into the one minute-15s with just 10 minutes gone.
Ralf Schumacher, who only managed two laps in the first session went out early, but a spin forced him straight back into the pits. But his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya was flying early on, and moved up to third.
Rubens Barrichello had a dramatic spin just before the half-way mark, and had to exit his Ferrari and return to the pits on foot, while Giancarlo Fisichella had to be pushed back to the pits after problems with his Benetton.
With half the session gone, the Jordan pair of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Trulli were up to sixth and seventh. Frentzen suffered problems and stopped out on the circuit with just more than 20 minutes to go, but Trulli continued to improve, climbing all the way up to second with ten minutes left.
Coulthard continued to dominate the session by pushing his time further down to the low one minute-15s, and there was no return fire from Ferrari.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Times
1. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes B 1:15.220 206.227 km/h
2. Trulli Jordan Honda B 1:16.224 + 1.004
3. M.Schumacher Ferrari B 1:16.598 + 1.378
4. Montoya Williams BMW M 1:16.851 + 1.631
5. Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes B 1:16.882 + 1.662
6. R.Schumacher Williams BMW M 1:16.929 + 1.709
7. Barrichello Ferrari B 1:16.994 + 1.774
8. Frentzen Jordan Honda B 1:17.072 + 1.852
9. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas B 1:17.102 + 1.882
10. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth M 1:17.295 + 2.075
11. Burti Jaguar Cosworth M 1:17.430 + 2.210
12. Panis BAR Honda B 1:17.432 + 2.212
13. Villeneuve BAR Honda B 1:17.455 + 2.235
14. Alesi Prost Acer M 1:17.518 + 2.298
15. Raikkonen Sauber Petronas B 1:17.712 + 2.492
16. Verstappen Arrows Asiatech B 1:17.792 + 2.572
17. Fisichella Benetton Renault M 1:18.096 + 2.876
18. Alonso European Minardi M 1:18.222 + 3.002
19. Bernoldi Arrows Asiatech B 1:18.233 + 3.013
20. Mazzacane Prost Acer M 1:18.269 + 3.049
21. Marques European Minardi M 1:19.005 + 3.785
22. Button Benetton Renault M 1:19.585 + 4.365
All timing unofficial