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  Friday, 26 July, 2002, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Schumacher on top
Michael Schumacher in first practice at the German Grand Prix
Schumacher speeds around the new Hockenheim track

Michael Schumacher looks poised to able to celebrate his fifth title in front of his home fans with a win after his Ferrari team dominated practice at the German Grand Prix on Friday.

Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello were first and second fastest after the drivers had completed their first day on the new Hockenheim track.

The two Ferrari stars were more than a second faster than anyone else in the first session, but they were closed down by McLaren drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard.

Schumacher, who was crowned champion in record time in France last weekend, set the fastest time in Friday's two sessions with a lap of one minute 16.086 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen has had his McLaren contracted extended
Raikkonen was quick for McLaren
That was 0.162secs quicker than his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

The Brazilian was less than 0.1secs ahead of Raikkonen, with Coulthard fourth, less than an hour after the two men were confirmed at the team for 2003.

In the first session, Ferrari's two drivers were more than a second quicker than anyone else, but the field closed up in the second session.

Williams driver Ralf Schumacher was fifth, with his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya seventh, behind the Jaguar of Eddie Irvine.

That was another encouraging performance for the struggling team, a week after the Northern Irishman qualified ninth for the French Grand Prix.

The Arrows team were true to their word and took a full part in Friday's sessions, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi completing 39 laps each in 10th and 11th positions.

The team had been warned that they could face sanctions if they repeated their efforts in France and did not make a genuine effort to compete.

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

News and analysis

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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