Another busy day at Monza testing

Another busy day at Monza testing

Testing continued at Monza on August 30th and it was a busy day with 20 drivers from all 11 teams at work on the Italian circuit. Team test driver Robert Kubica (possibly) topped the times for BMW Sauber, 1:22.280, and Nick Heidfeld was sixth ...

Testing continued at Monza on August 30th and it was a busy day with 20 drivers from all 11 teams at work on the Italian circuit. Team test driver Robert Kubica (possibly) topped the times for BMW Sauber, 1:22.280, and Nick Heidfeld was sixth overall. Set up, tyres, aerodynamics and mechanical components were their programme.

Robert Kubica.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Bear in mind that test times are not official and some teams don't give reports on a daily basis, so with 20 drivers on track there was a certain amount of debate about the order on the time sheet today. Renault's report said Giancarlo Fisichella clocked 1:22.262 -- faster than the time given by BMW for Kubica -- but Renault reckoned Fisi was second. I give up. Fernando Alonso was fourth, tyres being their main focus.

"We did a big tyre programme, and even though the circuit is still changing a lot, we are pleased with the results and with the direction we are moving in," said chief test engineer Christian Silk. "This is important work for next week, especially because we don't often test at Monza and because this is the first test back after the summer break."

Ferrari's Felipe Massa split the two Renaults in third and Michael Schumacher was seventh. They continued with tyre development work and set up for the Italian GP, although Schumacher delayed by a hydraulic issue in the morning. Both are scheduled to continue on Thursday.

Nico Rosberg led the Williams duo in fifth while teammate Mark Webber was (possibly) 13th. "Nico's first day at Monza was spent testing several brake cooling options, as well as getting used to the new aero package before starting the usual tyre tests," said test team manager Mike Condliffe. "Mark concentrated on tyre and set-up work in the morning then finished the day with further tyre testing in the afternoon."

The Hondas of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were eighth and ninth respectively. Button spent the morning setting up the car and finding the right balance and ran a tyre programme in the afternoon. Barrichello spent the day working on tyres and electronics.

Toyota again had Jarno Trulli and tester Ricardo Zonta on duty, 10th and 11th respectively -- maybe. Tyre compounds and brakes were Trulli's focus but he had an engine failure in the afternoon which lost him time. Zonta concentrated on tyre compound alternatives and set up.

"We collected some more data on our aero package and the driver's comments were very helpful in regards to finding the right set-up," said test team manager Gerd Pfeiffer. "There is still a lot we have to work on and although we have a full agenda for tomorrow, we can slowly make conclusions for the Grand Prix."

Toro Rosso had two cars on track, Tonio Liuzzi 12th and Scott Speed 14th -- perhaps. Sister team Red Bull also employed two cars with Christian Klien 15th and David Coulthard 19th. With no report from either team it seems that Liuzzi was a bit of a mystery, up and down the times depending where you look. Maybe there's more than one of him -- what a scary thought.

Pedro de la Rosa was the quicker of the two McLarens present in 16th and test driver Gary Paffett was fractionally behind in 17th. Tyre tests and wing evaluations for the Italian race were their work for the day. Paffett had a slightly early end to the day when he suffered an engine failure late in the afternoon.

Christijan Albers was the sole representative of MF1 and was 18th. As well as set up and tyres the Dutchman did some control systems work and aero testing but was hampered slightly by difficulties with his seating, which limited the number of laps he could do.

"Today we focused on the set-up of the car and worked closely with Bridgestone to choose the right compound for next week's Italian Grand Prix. I think we can have a good race here, but we have to keep working hard to catch the teams ahead of us if we are to achieve our goal of scoring points this season."

The Super Aguri of Sakon Yamamoto rounded off the times in 20th. Yamamoto worked on tyre options, aerodynamics and brakes and Takuma Sato is scheduled to be on track on Thursday. Chief technical officer Mark Preston was satisfied with the day's work.

"I am generally happy with our progress and Takuma will drive tomorrow to continue our tyre testing programme and other set-up work," he commented. "This is an important test for us as this is the first time that we have been able to properly prepare for a race."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Pedro de la Rosa , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , David Coulthard , Nick Heidfeld , Ricardo Zonta , Fernando Alonso , Christijan Albers , Felipe Massa , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Gary Paffett , Christian Klien , Robert Kubica , Sakon Yamamoto
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams