Juan Pablo Montoya all the way @ Indy


Juan Pablo Montoya continued his early domination of the US Grand Prix meeting by heading McLaren team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to a McLaren 1-2 in second practice on Friday afternoon.

The session was punctuated by a huge crash involving Ralf Schumacher, who lost control of his Toyota at 180mph and slammed into the barrier on the outside of the banked final corner (see separate story).

The German was uninjured but the accident immediately brought out the red flag, and 20 minutes elapsed while a thorough clean-up operation was carried out.

Raikkonen stood at the top of the charts at the time of the stoppage, courtesy of an early flyer of 1m11.489s.

Montoya responded with a 1m11.118s effort and that remained unbeaten through the remaining 25 minutes.

Perhaps surprisingly, it was Ferrari rather than Renault that provided the Woking team’s main opposition, with Rubens Barrichello edging out world champion Michael Schumacher for the third fastest time.

The Maranello duo were separated by the proverbial blink of an eye all day – 0.012s in the afternoon and an infinitesimal 0.003s in the morning session (with Schumacher ahead on that occasion).

Barrichello always goes well at Indianapolis and looked in a hungry mood today, taking a trip across the gravel at Turn One as he explored the limits of braking from 210mph to around 70.

Nick Heidfeld made a big late improvement to post the fifth best time in the leading Williams – some eight places ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

David Coulthard was an excellent sixth quickest for Red Bull Racing.

The Scot had a big but completely harmless spin at the end of the main straight and later toured back to the pits with what he diagnosed over the radio as a clutch problem.

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa had a rather anonymous day and ended up seventh on the timing charts, just ahead of his Red Bull counterpart Scott Speed.

The young American played himself in gently this morning but rose to the occasion in the dying minutes of this afternoon’s session – much to the crowd’s approval.

Fernando Alonso was a low-key ninth fastest in the quicker of the Renaults, with team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella back in 11th after an off in the closing stages.

Jarno Trulli picked up the Toyota standard in 10th, while the BAR-Hondas unaccountably languished in 15th and 16th places after a competitive showing this morning.

Felipe Massa indulged in two spins but was still comfortably faster than Sauber team-mate Jacques Villeneuve (12th versus 17th).


Friday second practice times from Indianapolis

1. MONTOYA McLaren 1m11.118s
2. RAIKKONEN McLaren 1m11.228s
3. BARRICHELLO Ferrari 1m11.746s
4. M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m11.758s
5. HEIDFELD Williams 1m11.825s
6. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m12.076s
7. DE LA ROSA McLaren 1m12.119s
8. SPEED Red Bull 1m12.143s
9. ALONSO Renault 1m12.265s
10. TRULLI Toyota 1m12.344s
11. FISICHELLA Renault 1m12.384s
12. MASSA Sauber 1m12.464s
13. WEBBER Williams 1m12.578s
14. KLIEN Red Bull 1m12.664s
15. BUTTON BAR 1m12.803s
16. SATO BAR 1m13.037s
17. VILLENEUVE Sauber 1m13.079s
18. DOORNBOS Jordan 1m13.361s
19. ZONTA Toyota 1m13.567s
20. FRIESACHER Minardi 1m13.783s
21. ALBERS Minardi 1m13.963s
22. KARTHIKEYAN Jordan 1m14.008s
23. MONTEIRO Jordan 1m14.336s
24. R.SCHUMACHER Toyota no time

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