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2000 Malaysian GP News
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Malaysian Grand Prix Saturday Practice and Qualifying
A surprise Alexander Wurz sets the fastest time of the session just 0.03 seconds ahead of Mika Hakkinen. David Coulthard is third just 0.08 seconds off the pace while Michael Schumacher is 4th 0.125 seconds slower than Wurz. Eddie Irvine managed to split the 2 Ferrari's clocking a time just 0.002 seconds faster than Rubens Barrichello.
Johnny Herbert was 7th while Ricardo Zonta and Jacques Villeneuve were 8th and 9th. Ralf Schumacher rounded the top 10.
Heinz Harald Frentzen did not cover any laps as he stalled the car in the pit lane and although the team recovered it they didn't fix the problem in time. Jenson Button only covered 4 laps before his car stopped on the track and Giancarlo Fisichella also stopped on the track after covering 9 laps.
Jacques Villeneuve who didn't do any laps in the 2nd session yesterday covered the most number of laps with 17 and so did Nick Heidfeld. Ricardo Zonta and Jos Verstappen both covered 16 laps while most other drivers covered between 10 and 15 laps.
It will be interesting to see what times Wurz sets during the second session when the drivers start to practice in qualifying trim.
Only David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher managed to better Alexander Wurz' time from this morning. Coulthard's best time is over 1.5 seconds faster than the Pole position time of last year. They could even go faster in qualifying!.
Hakkinen is in 4th and 0.239 seconds off the pace while Barrichello is 5th and 0.846 seconds behind. The Jaguar pair 6th and 7th and they are only separated by 0.003 seconds. Jenson Button managed an impressive recovery after having a car failure in the first session as he clocked the 8th fastest time. Jacques Villeneuve is in 9th while Jarno Trulli is in 10th place.
Disappointment for both Fisichella and Frentzen. Fisichella continues to struggle here and is in 17th place over 1.5 seconds slower than his teammate Wurz while Frentzen only ran 10 laps before he spun into the gravel trap. He ended the session in 20th place just ahead of the Minardi's.
Jarno Trulli covered the most number of laps this session with 20 followed by Michael Schumacher with 18. Gaston Mazzacane who spun into the gravel trap only managed 6 laps while Jenson Button only managed 8 laps after having mechanical problems. Frentzen who spun towards the end of the session only managed 10 laps. Most other driver covered between 13 and 17 laps.
Overall, Jacques Villeneuve covered the most number of laps with 34 today with Wurz, Zonta, Verstappen and Heidfeld all covering 32 laps. Frentzen did the least with 10 followed by Button with 12.
The qualifying session is going to be very interesting.
Michael Schumacher dominates the qualifying session leading Mika Hakkinen by just under half a second. David Coulthard was 3rd 0.029 seconds behind Hakkinen while Barrichello was 4th just 0.007 seconds behind Coulthard.
Alexander Wurz continued his impressive form today qualifying in 5th over 1.2 seconds off the pace while Jacques Villeneuve was just 0.009 seconds behind.
Eddie Irvine was 7th with Ralf Schumacher in 8th. The Jordan pair of Trulli and Frentzen make the top 10.
Disappointing result for Giancarlo Fisichella who only managed 13th and 2 seconds off the pace while Jenson Button struggled and only managed 16th.
Michael Schumacher and Jos Verstappen were the only drivers to have only 3 runs. All the other drivers had 4 runs each.
The closest teammates were Hakkinen and Coulthard with only 0.029 seconds separating them. Pedro de la Rosa and Jos Verstappen are next with only 0.046 seconds separating them. Trulli and Frentzen and Alesi and Heidfeld are also less than a tenth of a second apart.
The furthest teammates were Gene and Mazzacane with 1.416 seconds separating them followed by Mika Salo and Pedro Diniz with just under a second separating them and then it is Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button with 0.824 seconds separating them
At the front it looks like Michael Schumacher and Ferrari are set for another win while the battle will be between Wurz and Villeneuve for 4th place in the Constructor's championship. Eddie Irvine can also benefit from a few points.