Schumacher Leads Ferraris to Victory

Published May 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Michael Schumacher led the Ferraris to the top two positions in the morning free practice Saturday for the European Grand Prix to show that they are ready to resume the battle with the McLarens. 

On another cloudy and windy day with temperatures around 10 degrees C, German Schumacher did 1min 18.527sec on the 4.556km circuit, averaging 208.866km/ph. 

His Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello was next with 1:18.754. 

Both McLaren-Mercedes cars followed with two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen third in 1:18.761 and David Coulthard fourth, 1:18.907.  

Heinz-Harald Frentzen in a Jordan-Mugen-Honda was fifth in 1:19.011 followed by Giancarlo Fisichella in a Benetton-Playlife, 1:19.038 and Jacques Villeneuve in a BAR-Honda, 1:19.225. 

Rolf Schumacher was eighth in 1:19.302 in a Williams-BMW.  

Jenson Button, the 20-year-old rookie who had the fastest time in Friday's free practice, was just 13th in his Williams-BMW, 1:19.756.  

Despite the heroics of Button on Friday, it was still expected to come down to either a Ferrari or a McLaren for the pole. 

Hakkinen had taken the first three pole positions of the season followed by Barrichello and Michael Schumacher. 

The Ferraris raced to a large early season lead after the McLarens were scoreless the first two races. However McLarens have come back to within 49-42 after outscoring Ferrari 42-23 in the last three races.  

Schumacher still holds a 36-22 margin over Hakkinen in the drivers' standings helped by winning the first three races of the season.  

However Schumacher has not won on this circuit since 1995 - (AFP)  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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