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Schumi tops in Italian GP first free practice
September 10, 2004 16:56 IST
Michael Schumacher put Ferrari on top of the timesheets in Friday's first free practice for what promises to be a triumphant Italian Grand Prix homecoming for the champions.
Showing no signs of slowing up after clinching an unprecedented seventh world title in Belgium, Schumacher returned to the scene of his big crash in testing last week with a time comfortably inside the lap record.
The German sped round the fastest circuit on the calendar in one minute 20.526 seconds with Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello second in 1:20.861.
Their times compared to last year's pole position of 1:20.963 and the race lap record of 1:21.832 and suggested that this weekend's qualifying could well witness the quickest lap in Formula One history.
Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, in a Williams, set the mark at Monza in 2002 with a time of 1:20.264 and an average speed of 259.827 kph/161.449 mph.
Briton Anthony Davidson, the BAR test driver who will not race on Sunday, was third quickest in 1:20.902 ahead of Spa winner Kimi Raikkonen in a McLaren.
Ferrari won the constructors' championship for the sixth year in a row in Hungary last month and they are preparing for a celebration in front of their home fans in the last European round of the season.
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