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2002 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
First Friday Practice Session Report

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Reports & Results from other sessions

First Friday Practice Session Report - Results

The first free practice session of the season started in cool and humid conditions on a damp track with a reasonably high probability of more rain. If last season was anything to go by the conditions were ideal for Bridgestone.

The first driver on the track was Allan McNish, the oldest rookie driver, presumably to get as many miles in as he could on a track that he has not driven on before. He was followed by all but Ferrari who seemed reluctant to get their beautiful cars wet. 

Most cars were only on the track for one lap before they all headed back to the pits. This is pretty normal behavior (called an installation lap for some weird reason) as all the teams need to confirm that everything is working as planned.

Initially it is Sato that posts the fastest lap but soon after that Coulthard sets the pace for the morning by lapping in 1.43.388.

Some 20 minutes into the session Michael Schumacher gets out on the track and from his first lap it is obvious that he is fast and not handicapped by using last year's car. After a handful of laps he is a full two seconds faster than Coulthard.

Halfway through the season Barrichello joins and after a few orientation laps starts posting times not far south of Michael. 

By now the track is drying and times start coming down. Cars are swapping to dry tires and as these warm up and the track dries even further times and standing becomes very confusing. The two Ferraris are the only cars to drop below 1 minute 30 seconds, Michael Schumacher is close to three seconds faster than Fisichella (3rd fastest).

All this sounds wonderful until we look at Michael's best time of 1.28.977 more than 1/2 second slower than his lap record set here last year. It is unlikely that he will be slower than last year so we must assume that as the weekend wears on he can improve by a second or so. 

I just hope that McLaren was sandbagging because they were nowhere near the times of Ferrari. Williams, although a lot closer, were also not on the pace.

Friday practice is normally never a clear indication of potential. The Bridgestone tyres were much better in cold damp conditions last year and that may have caused a lot of the difference this morning. Let's see what the afternoon holds. 

Session 2002 2001
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

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