In-form McLaren driver David Coulthard confirmed he was the man to beat in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix as he posted the fastest time of 1 minute 20.602seconds in free practice.
The 29-year-old Scot, who closed to within 12 points of overall leader Michael Schumacher following his win in the Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago, piped Schumacher while the German's Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello was third fastest.
Finland's reigning champion Mika Hakkinen, like Schumacher a two-time world champion, was fifth fastest.
Michael Schumacher's younger brother Ralf had no problem with his leg - he suffered a 7-centimetre wound to the left calf when he banged into a wall at the Monaco Grand Prix - but his Williams played up no end and had to have its engine replaced.
Ralf eventually finished 23rd while his 20-year-old English teammate Jenson Button fared little better posting the 16th fastest time for a Grand Prix that he has admitted may well decide whether he is retained by Williams next season or gives way to Colombian wunderkind Juan Montoya – (AFP)
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