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New timing procedures for Saturday practice 28 Jun 2003

Confusion arose at the Nurburgring this morning when for the first time in recent history two separate sheets of lap times were issued for the two 45-minute free practice sessions, as opposed the usual one sheet of cumulative times. This will be the case from now on, according to the FIA's Charlie Whiting.

"In Montreal there was confusion among the teams about which tyres they were allowed to use in each of the three-quarter hour sessions on Saturday morning," Whiting said. "We told the teams that they could treat each session as separate because under Article 113 of the Sporting Regulations that's what they are. It's just that the timers have always tended to amalgamate the times."

Article 113 states that there should be sessions of free practice between 11.00 and 12.00 on Fridays at Grand Prix meetings, and from 09.00 to 09.45 and again from 10.15 to 11.00 on Saturdays, ie three separate sessions called, appropriately enough, the first, second and third timed sessions.

There is further confirmation of this in Article 119, where it states that any cars that break down out on the track in the first session on Saturday morning may be retrieved so they can run in the second.

So, to clarify free practice this morning, Olivier Panis was fastest in the second timed session from Barrichello, Coulthard, Montoya, Raikkonen, (Michael) Schumacher, (Ralf) Schumacher, Pizzonia, da Matta, Trulli, Villeneuve, Alonso, Webber, Button, Frentzen, Heidfeld, Firman, Fisichella, Verstappen and Wilson.

Ralf Schumacher was fastest in the third timed session from Montoya, Panis, Coulthard, Raikkonen, da Matta, Trulli, Alonso, (Michael) Schumacher, Barrichello, Pizzonia, Fisichella, Button, Webber, Heidfeld, Villeneuve, Firman, Frentzen, Wilson and Verstappen.

For a list of the cumulative times from the two sessions please see our Saturday free practice review.