Hakkinen Tops Schumachers
May 24, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
The two Schumacher brothers followed, with Michael setting the second fastest time at 1:20.316 and Ralf only 0.622 seconds slower than his brother.
Hakkinen was pleased with his practice run as the Formula One drivers prepare for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Monaco.
"It's great to be fastest in front of my adopted home crowd," Hakkinen said. "This gives me confidence for the rest of the weekend. You really have to work hard to find the limits here and there is no doubt the real key is qualifying well as it's so difficult to overtake."
Even though Hakkinen beat him during practice, Schumacher is confident this weekend.
"Traditionally, I have always done well in Monte Carlo," Schumacher said. "On top of that, we have a great car this year and so I think we will be very competitive in our fight with McLaren for the pole position and the win."
Hakkinen’s teammate, David Coulthard, who was second fastest in the morning session, had only the sixth best time in the afternoon.
"In order to get a quick time you have to position the car as close to the barriers as possible." Coulthard said. "In the second session I got a bit too close and incurred some damage to the right-rear suspension and lost a lot of time while the team was repairing."
Coulthard hopes to repeat last year’s victory in the streets of Monaco.
"Last year's race was very special to me as, along with the majority of drivers, Monaco is one of the tracks where I had always wanted to win and I am aiming to do the same this year," he said. "In Austria we once again demonstrated the speed of the car and the excellent strategy capabilities of the team, the latter of which can be very important in Monaco."
Rubens Barrichello set the fourth fastest time in his Ferrari with a time of 1:20.938. The two Jordans, who will not be using the launch control system in Monte Carlo, had the fifth and seventh times, with Jarno Trulli in front of teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
The two Williams drivers hit the barriers late in the afternoon session. Both admitted it was their fault.
"The accident was my fault as I was going too quickly," Ralf Schumacher said.
"About three-quarters of the way through the session I made a mistake going into Rascasse, lost the car under braking and hit the barrier," said Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished the day behind Jean Alesi (Prost-Acer) and Jacques Villeneuve (BAR-Honda) with the 10th fastest time.
The cars will be back on track Saturday for a morning practice and afternoon qualifying.
Friday’s day off will be beneficial to the teams who had difficulties in practice, such as Sauber, whose drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld set the 13th and 14th best laps.
"Today we were too slow in the second and third sectors, and now we must analyze all the data, think how to improve the car and come up with better solutions for Saturday. At least we have all day Friday to do that," team owner Peter Sauber said.