Takuma Sato was unable to carry any of his magic from the Canadian Grand Prix into the opening qualifying session at Indianapolis, headlining the six drivers to miss the cut at the end of first session.

The Japanese driver dropped into the danger zone midway through the 15-minute session and was unable to haul himself out of trouble, unlike Super Aguri team-mate Anthony Davidson, who ended the phase in tenth position.

The Briton demoted Toyota's Jarno Trulli into the bottom six but, in contrast to recent races, the Cologne team managed to avoid the ignominy of losing one of its drivers early on. Trulli escaped by pushing team-mate Ralf Schumacher into the bottom six, but the German - frequently the cause of Toyota blushes - followed the Italian over the line to demote Montreal podium visitor Alex Wurz.

Wurz and Sato were joined, as anticipated, by both Spykers, while Scott Speed failed to draw any extra inspiration from the home crowd, ending the day in 20th spot, one behind Toro Rosso team-mate Tonio Liuzzi.

The session was headed by Fernando Alonso, who maintained his 100 per cent pacesetting record, while BMW offered the closest opposition to McLaren, with Nick Heidfeld splitting the silver cars and rookie Sebastian Vettel taking fourth, ahead of the two Ferraris.

 

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