Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Sunday Warm-Up - Italian GP

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

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