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F1 - Friday Free Practices - Japanese GP

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Friday First Free Practice - Japanese GP

Friday October 11th, 2002

By Timothy Collings

Jacques Villeneuve lost control of his BAR-Honda and crashed 27 minutes into the opening session of Friday's opening free practice session for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, a collision that caused the action to be red-flagged and halted.

The Canadian veered left and failed to stop his car sliding into a wall at the Spoon Curve where bodywork parts flew in all directions. The rear wing and the entire nose section parted company with the main body of the vehicle, but all four wheels remained tethered to the chassis although they were flying around in seeming limbo.

There was no immediate reason given for the accident or for teammate Olivier Panis pulling up soon afterwards a little further around the circuit. Five-times World Champion Michael Schumacher, in his Ferrari, was first on the scene and had to steer his car through the wreckage strewn across the circuit.

Japanese Takuma Sato, in a Jordan-Honda, was fastest early on the session to the delight of the home crowd inside the Suzuka circuit where thousands of Japanese fans basked in the morning sunshine. More than 10,000 Toyota staff, it was reported, were being transported into the circuit each day and the Sato fan club had their own grandstand.

But Sato did not stay fastest for long and when the session resumed after a 10-minutes delay he was soon relegated to a more familiar position in the lower half of the order as the usual suspects began to exercise control over the leading positions.

Schumacher was soon fastest in his Ferrari, but his teammate Rubens Barrichello found the going more difficult and he had one unscheduled off-track excursion early in the second half of the morning hour, but without any damage to car or driver.

By the end of the session, the champion was two-tenths of a second clear of Barrichello in second ahead of Briton David Coulthard, in his McLaren Mercedes-Benz, and his teammate Finn Kimi Raikkonen. Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth for Williams-BMW ahead of his teammate Ralf Schumacher.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:36.109 218.040 km/h 16
2. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:36.348 + 0.239 14
3. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:36.760 + 0.651 8
4. Raikkonen McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:37.268 + 1.159 14
5. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:37.316 + 1.207 12
6. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:37.614 + 1.505 16
7. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:38.425 + 2.316 11
8. Trulli Renault (M) 1:38.426 + 2.317 16
9. de la Rosa Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:38.630 + 2.521 15
10. Button Renault (M) 1:38.640 + 2.531 14
11. Fisichella Jordan Honda (B) 1:38.698 + 2.589 16
12. Salo Toyota (M) 1:38.801 + 2.692 17
13. Sato Jordan Honda (B) 1:38.912 + 2.803 22
14. Panis BAR Honda (B) 1:39.054 + 2.945 6
15. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:39.208 + 3.099 16
16. Massa Sauber Petronas (B) 1:39.278 + 3.169 18
17. McNish Toyota (M) 1:39.364 + 3.255 17
18. Webber Minardi Asiatech (M) 1:40.710 + 4.601 18
19. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1:40.967 + 4.858 4
20. Yoong Minardi Asiatech (M) 1:41.596 + 5.487 19

All Timing Unofficial

Published at 03:14:48 GMT
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Friday Second Free Practice - Japanese GP

Friday October 11th, 2002

By Timothy Collings

Juan Pablo Montoya followed Jacques Villeneuve's example on Friday when, after the Canadian had interrupted the morning session with a heavy slide into the barriers, he produced an equally spectacular collision in the second hour of free practice for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, on his way to fourth on the unofficial grid order for Williams-BMW.

As the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher stood idle in its garage, the World Champion having done only four laps in the post-lunch activity due to a hydraulics problem, the Italian team's greatest rivals McLaren Mercedes-Benz took advantage by clocking the two fastest laps of the day.

This meant that, after red-lights, stoppages and debris clearance, Kimi Raikkonen was fastest ahead of his McLaren teammate David Coulthard, the young Finn topping the times with a best lap in 1:34.232. Coulthard was second by almost half a second.

Rubens Barrichello, in his Ferrari, was third fastest, Montoya fourth and the two Schumachers, Ralf and Michael, fifth and sixth quickest in their Williams and Ferraris respectively, ahead of the two Jaguars of Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa. But the day belonged not so much to those who worked hard to find grip and balance, but the spectacular moments in the crashes.

In the afternoon, both Ralf Schumacher and Takuma Sato had spun off and continued before Montoya lost control of his car at the Degner Curve, his car riding over the kerbs and then plunging left into the barriers amid clouds of debris and dust. The Colombian was unhurt and walked away from the wreckage.

"He said the car just got away from him and it was rather unfortunate and it will be exchanged or repaired for tomorrow. He said he was fine, but obviously if necessary he will have a medical check when he gets back," said the team's technical director Patrick Head.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Raikkonen McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:34.232 222.383 km/h 34
2. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) 1:34.730 + 0.498 29
3. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:35.402 + 1.170 34
4. Montoya Williams BMW (M) 1:35.742 + 1.510 38
5. R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 1:35.995 + 1.763 44
6. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:36.109 + 1.877 19
7. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:36.190 + 1.958 25
8. de la Rosa Jaguar Cosworth (M) 1:36.490 + 2.258 37
9. Trulli Renault (M) 1:36.529 + 2.297 37
10. Fisichella Jordan Honda (B) 1:36.744 + 2.512 37
11. Salo Toyota (M) 1:36.893 + 2.661 43
12. Button Renault (M) 1:37.014 + 2.782 37
13. Sato Jordan Honda (B) 1:37.196 + 2.964 45
14. McNish Toyota (M) 1:37.384 + 3.152 43
15. Massa Sauber Petronas (B) 1:37.492 + 3.260 31
16. Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 1:37.781 + 3.549 39
17. Panis BAR Honda (B) 1:37.927 + 3.695 23
18. Webber Minardi Asiatech (M) 1:37.997 + 3.765 33
19. Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 1:38.138 + 3.906 11
20. Yoong Minardi Asiatech (M) 1:39.142 + 4.910 30

All Timing Unofficial

Published at 05:03:28 GMT
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