Ralf tops final day Paul Ricard 2003-05-09

Ralf Schumacher topped the times on the final day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, the Williams driver setting a best of 1:11.578. Schumacher headed a field of eight drivers from six teams. "The team have spent this week testing...

Ralf Schumacher topped the times on the final day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, the Williams driver setting a best of 1:11.578. Schumacher headed a field of eight drivers from six teams.

"The team have spent this week testing in Paul Ricard with Ralf and Marc (Gené) working on setup, traction control and tyre testing," said Williams' Chief Operations Engineer Sam Michael. "As a result, we believe we have found a efficient tyre compound for the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend."

McLaren's David Coulthard and team test driver Alex Wurz were third and fourth respectively, followed by Antonio Pizzonia. The Brazilian completed a programme on suspension, tyres and weight distribution.

"We completed our entire programme and a bit more," said Head of Vehicle Performance, Mark Gillan. "Antonio's focus today was on tyre comparison work, weight distribution and suspension work. The entire programme was conducted very successfully and we go to Austria in search of more points."

Oliver Panis and tester Ricardo Zonta were on duty for Toyota, setting the fifth and seventh times of the day respectively. Their test concentrated on a technical programme and tyres for the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend.

Sixth and eighth fastest were BAR test drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson. It was Sato's first drive at Paul Ricard and Davidson had not tested for the team since March and both were hampered by problems.

Sato worked on tyres in the morning but a mechanical failure prevented him testing in the afternoon. Davidson was on track in the morning but spent much of the day in the garage with an engine problem, managing to rejoin the session late afternoon.

Michael Schumacher was at Mugello for Ferrari and completed a distance run on the short track of the circuit in the F2003-GA. Testers Luca Badoer and Felipe Massa will continue tomorrow, Badoer at Mugello and Massa at Fiorano.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Ralf Schumacher , Antonio Pizzonia , Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Ricardo Zonta , Alexander Wurz , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams