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Barrichello fastest on Friday 18 Jun 2004

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 18 June 2004 Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Honda 006.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 18 June 2004 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 18 June 2004 Timo Glock (GER) Jordan Test Driver in the garage.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 18 June 2004 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 18 June 2004

Ferrari lead from BAR and Williams on day one

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello sets the pace in Friday's second practice session for the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

Barrichello took up where he left off this morning as he continued to head the times. The Brazilian became the first - and so far the only - driver to dip beneath Michael Schumacher’s 2002 pole position time of 1m 10.790s.

After Ricardo Zonta initially set the pace for Toyota with 1m 12.019s, from Barrichello, Schumacher and Anthony Davidson, Juan Pablo Montoya lapped in 1m 10.982s to give Williams some hope of a strong race. Barrichello then pipped the Colombian’s time by 0.008s before Davidson in turn beat him by 0.007s with 1m 10.967s. Barrichello subsequently worked down to 1m 10.365s, however, to throw the issue beyond challenge.

Davidson stayed in second place with Montoya third, and Michael Schumacher was quite content with fourth best time in 1m 11.036s.

Jenson Button’s final run was spoiled when he slid wide in Turn Two, but he too was quite happy with 1m 11.230s for fifth ahead of Ralf Schumacher (1m 11.530s) and the Toyota squad. For the latter Cristiano da Matta was seventh fastest on 1m 11.893s ahead of Olivier Panis on 1m 11.994s and Zonta’s 1m 12.019s.

Kimi Raikkonen was 10th on 1m 12.197s, followed by Mark Webber (1m 12.438s) and Jarno Trulli (1m 12.441s). Giancarlo Fisichella complained of blistering rear tyres on his Sauber on his way to 13th fastest 1m 12.537s, while Takuma Sato did 1m 12.601s in only three laps. That beat the Jaguars of Bjorn Wirdheim and Christian Klien, which proved evenly matched on 1m 12.761s and 1m 12.950s respectively. Felipe Massa was 17th with 1m 13.196s, like Fisichella complaining of oversteer.

Zsolt Baumgartner sprung a surprise with a low-fuel run to 18th best time of 1m 13.384s for Minardi. This headed Timo Glock who was in the fastest Jordan, on 1m 13.446s, Fernando Alonso, on 1m 13.732s, and Nick Heidfeld, on 1m 13.961s. Giorgio Pantano was 22nd on 1m 14.407s, and was fined by the stewards for speeding in the pit lane. Bas Leinders and Gianmaria Bruni brought the up rear of the active cars, on 1m 14.409s and 1m 14.428s.

It was a troubled afternoon for Fernando Alonso, who spun his Renault in Turn 11 early on, and got stuck in the gravel bed; David Coulthard, who did only two laps before his McLaren succumbed to mechanical problems that kept it in the pits for the remainder of the session; and Sato, who did only three laps because he tangled with Massa while attempting another of his patented late braking passing moves in Turn One.

Others to have adventures were Ralf Schumacher, who slid off in Turn Seven and later in Turn Eight; Pantano who spun in Turn Six and Turn 11, where Baumgartner also rotated; Klien who went off in Turn One; and Webber who spun in Turn Eight. Oh, and Michael Schumacher, who spun wildly in Turn 11 after getting the left rear wheel over the kerb.