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2000 United States GP News
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United States Grand Prix Saturday Practice and Qualifying
Mika Hakkinen was the fastest man on the track this session just ahead of Jenson Button and teammate David Coulthard. Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella make the top 6.
The times set today are generally slower than yesterday's times and that was mainly due to the damp track. Lap times should drop further in the seconds session.
Several drivers topped the timesheets during this session as the track was drying including the 2 Prost drivers Jean Alesi and Nick Heidfeld. Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher were 21st and 22nd at one stage.
There were no major incidents during the session but Frentzen and Ralf Schumacher went off but recovered while Wurz spun on the track but he also recovered.
Mika Salo and Nick Heidfeld did the most number of laps with the lap times with 19 each while Jacques Villeneuve only did 11 laps. Most other drivers completed between 13 and 18 laps.
In the final practice session it was Michael Schumacher who set the fastest time ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello. David Coulthard was 3rd ahead of an impressive Jenson Button and Mika Hakkinen. Heinz Harald Frentzen was in 6th place followed by Fisichella and Villeneuve. Ralf Schumacher was 9th and Jarno Trulli makes the top 10.
Michael Schumacher is the only driver to go under the 1:15 mark so far today but his time is still slower than the time set by David Coulthard yesterday.
Half a second separates the top 5 and 1 second separates the top 9.
Nick Heidfeld did the most number of laps during both sessions with 36 followed by David Coulthard with 34. Herbert did the least number of laps with 28. Most other drivers did between 29 and 34 laps.
Qualifying should be interesting.
Michael Schumacher grabs his 7th pole position of the season ahead of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen. Rubens Barrichello was 4th followed by Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button.
The session started unusually busy as the teams feared it would start raining. Mika Hakkinen was the first to set a timed lap. Rubens Barrichello then took provisional pole only for Hakkinen to retake it. Michael Schumacher went out on the track a bit late compared to the other drivers but grabbed provisional pole on his first run and kept it.
Both Ferrari and McLaren used an interesting tactic in trying to get a better lap time by employing the other car to provide a tow on the straight. This tactic seemed to give Coulthard a few tenths on the straight on his last lap allowing him to move ahead of Barrichello and Hakkinen.
Less than 0.2 seconds separate the top 3 while a second separates the top 7.
Several drivers spun on the track but recovered. Jean Alesi had an engine failure and retired on the track.
Despite being a new track, there is not much difference in times between the drivers in the same team. The biggest differences were less than half a second and those include Jenson Button (6th) ahead of Ralf Schumacher (10th), Jacques Villeneuve (8th) ahead of Ricardo Zonta (12th), Pedro Diniz (9th) ahead of Mika Salo (14th) and Nick Heidfeld (16th) ahead of Jean Alesi (20th).
It will be an interesting race with Coulthard between the two championship contenders.