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Diamonds and Dust

NEWS STORY
21/05/2005

Ahead of what will hopefully be the last such qualifying session this season, the air temperature in Monaco is 22 degrees, while the track temperature has risen to 38 degrees.

First out today will be Tonio Liuzzi, followed by Friesacher, Albers, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve.

In this morning's second free practice session, Giancarlo Fisichella was just 0.003s off last year's pole time, which posted by race winner Jarno Trulli.

Liuzzi begins his out lap in the sensational looking Red Bull, with its Star Wars livery. The Italian works hard to get some heat into his tyres. At the first split he posts 20.108, the car is all over the place. At the second split it's 58.541, followed by a 1:16.817 at the line. Under the circumstances it was the best he could hope for.

Next up it's Friesacher, who continues to impress. At the first split it's 20.734, he's 06s down on Liuzzi. At the second split the Austrian posts 1:00.006, going on to cross the line at 1:18.574, just 1.7s down on the Red Bull.

Teammate Christijan Albers is next out. At the first split the Dutch driver posts 20.886, followed by a 1:00.369 at the second, again, he's down on his teammate. At the line the Minardi driver posts 1:19.229, which puts him third.

All eyes on Michael Schumacher, who completes the first sector in 20.002, he's 0.106s up on Liuzzi. At the second split it's 58.011, the car really lacking front grip. At the line it's 1:16.186, he's 0.6s up on Liuzzi, but it's not enough, far from it.

Last out before the first break is Jacques Villeneuve. At the first split the Canadian posts 19.794, he's up on Schumacher. At the second split the Sauber driver posts 57.646, followed by a 1:15.921 at the line, provisional pole for the 1997 World Champion, which puts Schumacher's time into perspective.

The order is Villeneuve, Schumacher, Liuzzi, Friesacher and Albers.

Next out is Narain Karthikeyan, who has been out-paced by his Jordan teammate, Monteiro, for much of the weekend, not to mention Friesacher.

At the first split the Indian posts 20.837, he's already over a second off the pace. At the second split the Jordan driver posts 1:00.776, his car all over the place. At the line it's 1:19.474, which puts him behind the Minardis.

Teammate Monteiro is next out, what can he do? At the first split it's 20.912, he's already down on Karthikeyan. At the second split its 1:00.666, as he continues to lose ground. At the line it's 1:19.408, he somehow manages to outpace Karthikeyan.

Felipe Massa is next out in the Sauber. At the first split the Brazilian posts 19.976, he's only 0.18s off the pace. He's pushing hard, giving it 100%, as he completes the second sector in 57.914. At the line the former Ferrari test driver posts 1:16.218, to go third, behind Schumacher.

Nick Heidfeld is next out, the German eager to outpace his Australian teammate. At the first split the WilliamsF1 driver posts 19.821, he's down on Villeneuve, but it's marginal. At the second split it's 57.412, as he now goes quickest, but can he maintain it. At the line it's 1:15.128, he goes quickest by 0.793s.

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