Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Friday free practice review - San Marino 18 Apr 2003

Ralf Schumacher (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, 18 April 2003

BMW Williams's San Marino Grand Prix got off to a good start under sunny skies as Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya set the session's two fastest times of 1m 21.335s and 1m 21.409s respectively. Both cars were running the new aerodynamic components that they first tried in Interlagos at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Making the most of private practice this morning, Mark Webber continued his work for Jaguar with third fastest time of 1m 22.056s, easing out David Coulthard's McLaren Mercedes, Alonso's Renault and Jenson Button's BAR Honda.

Several drivers had incidents at the Variante Alta, the chicane at the top of the hill after the climb from Acqua Minerale. Ralph Firman was the first to go off there, followed by Coulthard and da Matta. Later Fisichella spun at Turn Eight, and Jacques Villeneuve stopped at Tamburello.

The most celebrated victim of Variante Alta was Michael Schumacher, who clipped the inner kerb on the exit with his Ferrari F2002's left rear suspension and then had to limp back to the pits for repairs. The world champion lost 40 minutes altogether, and ended the morning with an identical lap time to team-mate Rubens Barrichello: 1m 23.057s to round out the top 10. Barrichello, who covered the most laps, ran with a reasonable fuel load all morning.