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Schumacher fastest in Barcelona
May 07, 2004 19:14 IST
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has led the way in practice for a Spanish Grand Prix weekend that could see him equal Formula One's record start to a season.
The six-times world champion geared up for his 200th appearance, and possible fifth win in a row, with a lap more than two seconds quicker than his 2003 pole position performance at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Schumacher's time of one minute 15.658 seconds was 1.4 seconds faster than Briton Jenson Button's BAR, the quickest of Ferrari's race rivals.
Rubens Barrichello, the Brazilian who has followed Schumacher home in two one-two finishes this year and is runner-up in the championship, was second quickest in 1:16.033.
Briton Anthony Davidson, the BAR test driver who will not race on Sunday, was third fastest ahead of Toyota's Brazilian third driver Ricardo Zonta.
Button was fifth on the timesheets.
Schumacher has already matched his best start to a season with four wins in four races and now has his sights set on equalling Briton Nigel Mansell's run of five victories at the start of 1992.
The German has won the last three Spanish Grands Prix and is the overwhelming favourite to win again on Sunday in what would be his sixth Spanish success.
But he has cast wary glances at on-form Button, who is chasing a fourth podium in a row after starting the last San Marino Grand Prix on pole position and finishing second.
Local favourite Fernando Alonso, second in front of his home crowd last year, was seventh quickest for Renault.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage