Sunday September 16th, 2001
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher prepared for a sombre Italian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday with the fastest lap in the morning warm-up.
The German, who has already secured his fourth Championship, lapped in a comparatively slow 1:26.029. McLaren's David Coulthard, second in the Championship, was 0.057 slower with Colombian polesetter Juan Pablo Montoya third fastest in his Williams.
But times in a session used by teams to fine tune settings were an afterthought on a day that was to have been a Ferrari celebration but which has been overshadowed by events elsewhere. The many thousands feared dead in terror attacks on America and the serious injuries suffered by Italian driver Alex Zanardi in a CART race in Germany on Saturday have cast a shadow over the race.
Schumacher has struggled to find words to describe his feelings but made clear on Saturday that he had found it hard to focus on the race. Fans, eager to celebrate Ferrari's two titles at their home track and in the last European race of the season, have been urged to tone down their behaviour and there will be no champagne celebrations.
A minute's silence will be respected at the end of the pre-race drivers' parade. Ferrari are running without sponsor branding on the cars, for the first time since the 1960s. The cars have been carrying a black nose cone as a sign of mourning.
Jordan sponsor Deutsche Post replaced its branding on the car's engine cover with an American flag as a mark of respect for the American victims. The team also issued a statement expressing shock at Zanardi's crash at the Lausitzring and the extent of his injuries. The Italian, who drove for the team in 1991, had both legs amputated.
"Our thoughts are with Alex and his family. Alex is a very popular guy and we are all terribly saddened by his accident. We pray for his recovery and rehabilitation," said boss Eddie Jordan.
Fans displayed a banner in the main grandstand, still full of empty seats during the warm-up, calling for peace, love and sport instead of terror. But their main hero was not forgotten either.
"Schumy, turn your eyes to the sky...its the only thing bigger than you," said another banner.
Pos Driver Team Times
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:26.029 242.416 km/h
2. Coulthard Mclaren Mercedes (B) 1:26.086 + 0.057
3. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:26.247 + 0.218
4. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:26.296 + 0.267
5. Raikkonen Sauber Petronas (B) 1:26.389 + 0.360
6. Trulli Jordan Honda (B) 1:26.446 + 0.417
7. Alesi Jordan Honda (B) 1:26.778 + 0.749
8. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:26.793 + 0.764
9. Hakkinen Mclaren Mercedes (B) 1:26.825 + 0.796
10. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1:27.161 + 1.132
11. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:27.218 + 1.189
12. de la Rosa Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:27.351 + 1.322
13. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:27.458 + 1.429
14. Verstappen Arrows Asiatech (B) 1:27.548 + 1.519
15. Panis BAR Honda (B) 1:27.708 + 1.679
16. Bernoldi Arrows Asiatech (B) 1:27.766 + 1.737
17. Fisichella Benetton Renault (M) 1:28.137 + 2.108
18. Button Benetton Renault (M) 1:28.633 + 2.604
19. Frentzen Prost Acer (M) 1:28.752 + 2.723
20. Alonso Minardi European (M) 1:29.027 + 2.998
21. Yoong Minardi European (M) 1:29.826 + 3.797
22. Enge Prost Acer (M) 1:30.445 + 4.416
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 08:04:14 GMT