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Barrichello takes home initiative 22 Oct 2004

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari F2004.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Sauber Petronas C23.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Honda 006.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 A new helmet design for Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 Robert Doornbos (NED) Jordan Ford EJ14 leaves the pits.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004

Rubens Barrichello gave his thousands upon thousands of supporters precisely what they came to see in Interlagos this afternoon, when he snatched the fastest time away from Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher in second practice at Interlagos.

After Kimi Raikkonen had become the first man ever to lap this tricky circuit in under 1m 12s, with a time of 1m 11.953s for McLaren, Schumacher took the initiative away from him with a lap of 1m 11.743s. That lasted until Jenson Button pushed BAR to the front with a time 0.012s quicker - 1m 11.731s.

With 10 minutes of the hour-long session left Schumacher pushed his Ferrari to 1m 11.334s, and there matters appeared ready to lie until Barrichello slipped in 1m 11.166s to settled things once and for all. “I’m really happy with that,” he said, and his broad beam said it all.

It’s been a good day on the track here. In this session Raikkonen, Timo Glock, Christian Klien, Zsolt Baumgartner, Ricardo Zonta, Ryan Briscoe and Robert Doornbos all had harmless spins, and as more rubber went down conditions, and lap times, improved again and again.

Behind the Ferraris, Raikkonen staged a last minute improvement to 1m 11.526s to push Button back a place, while the presence of Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato in fifth and sixth places confirmed Barrichello’s prediction yesterday that BAR would be bad news for Ferrari here. The Englishman lapped in 1m 11.920s, the Japanese in 1m 11.988s.

This time it was Fernando Alonso leading the chase of the fastest runners, the Spaniard setting seventh fastest time for Renault in 1m 12.005s which just beat Felipe Massa, who did 1m 12.183s for Sauber. Briscoe was ninth, again impressing, with 1m 12.209s.

Then came Ralf Schumacher in the first of the Williams in 1m 12.235s. Juan Pablo Montoya was right behind him on 1m 12.280s, but since both times were little faster than the laps they started the session with its safe to say that the Anglo-German cars were running to a programme that did call for ultimate lap times.

Jacques Villeneuve was 12th for Renault on 1m 12.316s, pleased to be so close to Alonso, and then came Doornbos. The Dutchman again impressed as he posted 1m 12.345s, but it’s safe to say he was running a different programme to Jordan team-mates Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock, who were 19th and 22nd on 1m 13.114s and 1m 13.966s respectively. Then came Zonta (1m 12.347s), David Coulthard (1m 12.430s), Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 12.631s) and Mark Webber (1m 12.816s).

Between Heidfeld and Glock were Gianmari Bruni (1m 13.467s) and Christian Klien (1m 13.509s), while behind them were Zsolt Baumgartner (1m13.979s), Bjorn Wirdheim (1m 14.303s) and Bas Leinders (1m 14.754s).

With a less than benign weather forecast tomorrow, however, things may well change as the weekend progresses, especially as 15mm of rain are expected over Interlagos on raceday.