Juan Pablo Montoya set the pace in a dry opening practice season for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, the final race on the 2004 Formula One calendar.

The Columbian, in his final race for Williams, set a fastest lap of 1min 12.547secs to break the lap record in dry conditions, but there was a surprise name alongside Montoya at the top of the timesheets.

Ryan Briscoe saved his best lap until right at the end of the season, to put his Toyota second fastest - just 0.094secs behind the Williams. Ralf Schumacher, also in his last race for Williams, was third ahead of the first of the McLarens, Kimi Raikkonen taking fourth.

With Jenson Button staying at BAR next season, test driver Anthony Davidson now knows that his only chance of a front running drive next season will be elsewhere, and he again impressed, remaining near the top of the timesheets throughout the hour long session, before settling for fifth.

David Coulthard, also looking to impress Frank Williams as he looks for a race seat for 2005, was sixth ahead of the second Toyota of Jarno Trulli as the Italian prepares for his second race with his new team.

Takuma Sato took eighth, ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso. World Champion Michael Schumacher was eleventh, nearly one and half seconds off the pace.

The only minor incident during the session was a spin for Christian Klien, although Minardi driver Bas Leinders failed to set a time.

 

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