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de la Rosa quickest in first session

NEWS STORY
10/06/2005

There are two main things that we'll be watching out for this weekend, the weather and Jacques Villeneuve's performance.

Comments made in recent weeks, and particularly ahead of this weekend's race, make it clear that all is not well within the Swiss team, with Peter Sauber claiming that the former World Champion is too slow. Jacques, on the other hand, has made it clear that he is unhappy about Sauber doing its dirty washing in public.

Make no mistake, unless good something happens over the next couple of race weekends, JV could well be on his way out of Sauber and possibly out of F1.

As for the weather, the air temperature is 29 degrees C, while the track temperature is 41 degrees. Although there was some overnight rain, its currently dry and looks likely to remain so for much of the day.

Other than Villeneuve and the weather, today, one of the main focuses of attention will be American hopeful, Scott Speed, who will drive the third Red Bull here and again at Indianapolis next weekend.

This weekend, Jordan is not allowed to run a third car following the tyre 'mix up' with Franck Montagny at the Nurburgring.

When the lights go green, Ricardo Zonta is first out, followed by Albers, de la Rosa, Friesacher, Karthikeyan and Speed.

Another 'early bird' is Jacques Villeneuve, who has never won here, in eight attempts.

One by one they come out for their installation laps, and one by one they return to their garages. Seven minutes into the session however, Zonta re-emerges from the Toyota garage. Moments later, de la Rosa and Speed join the Brazilian.

The Toyota tester crosses the line at 1:22.689 to post the first time of the weekend, though it's 10s off last year's pole time.

Zonta improves but is soon leapfrogged by de la Rosa, who posts 1:20.183, while speed is soon lapping in the low 1:23s.

The Spaniard improves to 1:18.807, as last year's pole man, Ralf Schumacher, returns to the track.

With eighteen minutes of the session completed, only four drivers - de la Rosa, Zonta, Speed and Karthikeyan - have posted times, with the Ferraris, Renaults, Nick Heidfeld and Jarno Trulli still to even complete an installation lap.

Albers (23.158) goes fifth ahead of teammate Friesacher.

de la Rosa improves to 1:18.005, as Zonta (18.723) and Speed (20.685) close the gap. Elsewhere, Alonso, Trulli and Michael Schumacher venture out.

The German is the first of the 'big guns' to post a time, he goes third with a 1:18.082, as de la Rosa improves to 1:17.688.

As Schumacher improves to second (17.937), Raikkonen goes fourth (19.025) ahead of Barrichello (20.642).

Next time around, the Finn improves to 1:17.505, shooting to the top of the timesheets. Meanwhile, teammate Juan Pablo Montoya goes fifth (18.358) ahead of the BARs of Sato and Button.

With twenty minutes remaining, thirteen drivers have posted times, while Nick Heidfeld has yet to appear.

A 1:17.552, sees Montoya go second, giving McLaren a 1-2-3, since de la Rosa is third quickest.

de la Rosa goes quickest again, the Spaniard posting 1:16.957, however, moments later he's leapfrogged by Michael Schumacher (16.872). The McLaren tester refuses to surrender however, and moments later he's back atop the timesheets, having lapped the Montreal track in 1:16.478.

With ten minutes remaining, the order is: Michael, de la Rosa, Zonta, Raikkonen, Montoya, Button, Sato, Barrichello, Speed, Klien, Karthikeyan, Friesacher, Albers and Monteiro.

As Heidfeld finally emerges from the WilliamsF1 garage, David Coulthard goes fifteenth (of fifteen) with a 1:26.191. At the top of the timesheets, de la Rosa consolidates his position with a 1:16.457.

There's a flurry of activity as drivers finally decide to complete a lap, de la Rosa further improves, as does Zonta, who goes second. Further down the timesheets, Fisichella goes sixth ahead of Heidfeld, Button and Trulli, as Webber goes tenth ahead of Barrichello and Ralf.

Montoya improves (16.945) to fifth, only for teammate Raikkonen to go third just ahead of Button (16.710).

The only driver that hasn't posted a time is Alonso, but the Spaniard is finally on track.

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