Alonso top on final Monza test day

Alonso top on final Monza test day

Testing wrapped up at Monza today with 15 drivers on track for the end of the three day test session. Renault's Fernando Alonso finished the week at the top of the time sheet, the Spaniard's best of 1:20.611 a few hundredths ahead of BAR's Jenson...

Testing wrapped up at Monza today with 15 drivers on track for the end of the three day test session. Renault's Fernando Alonso finished the week at the top of the time sheet, the Spaniard's best of 1:20.611 a few hundredths ahead of BAR's Jenson Button. Jarno Trulli was also at work for Renault, fifth fastest.

Fernando Alonso.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

"Overall, we have had a successful week, making our tyre choice for the Grand Prix and without experiencing any mechanical problems with the engines at all, which is an extremely encouraging sign," said chief test engineer Christian Silk.

Juan Pablo Montoya and Williams teammate Antonio Pizzonia were third and fourth respectively to conclude the team's programme of set up, tyre, aero and brake tests. Montoya suffered a tyre failure in the Belgian GP and Williams will run different rubber at the Italian GP next weekend.

"Following the tyre problem that Juan Pablo had at Spa -- which appears to have been caused by external influences rather than any specific design problem -- we tested some tyres at Monza with some changes," said technical director Sam Michael. "The tyres are similar to what we used at Spa as these changes are just precautionary rather than a requirement for safety."

Test driver Anthony Davidson was sixth quickest for BAR, he and Button finishing up tyre, set up and aerodynamic work. "We completed the majority of our planned programme, focusing particularly on tyre and aerodynamic evaluations, with some longer runs," said Davidson. "Overall it was a positive test and the team feels hopeful of a strong performance at the Italian Grand Prix next weekend."

McLaren closed its week with Kimi Raikkonen seventh and test driver Alex Wurz eighth. Luca Badoer swapped from Fiorano to Monza and was the sole Ferrari on track, ninth, working on tyre development and set up. Jaguar's Christian Klien and Mark Webber were 10th and 13th respectively, while Felipe Massa wound up Sauber's programme with distance runs for tyre work and data verification. The Brazilian was 11th quickest.

Toyota's Oliver Panis and Ricardo Zonta were 12th and 14th respectively. It was a busy week for Toyota with three drivers on track on different days, team tester Ryan Briscoe kicking off the week on Wednesday. Tyres were the main focus of the programme, as well as set up, brakes, electronics and traction control. Panis crashed today due to a tyre problem but was unharmed.

"Unfortunately late on Friday I was approaching the second chicane when I went off after suffering a depressurization of my left rear tyre, probably caused by a problem with the valve," said the Frenchman. "It was an abrupt end to the test but thankfully I am completely okay."

Jordan had its three drivers at work this week: Giorgio Pantano started the test on Wednesday, test driver Timo Glock took over on Thursday and Nick Heidfeld concluded today, rounding off the times. Development work and extensive tyre evaluations were the focus for Jordan.

At Vallelunga, Tiago Monteiro was behind the wheel for Minardi. The Portuguese driver, who competes in the Nissan World Series, worked on set up and gearbox components and set a best time of 1:03.750 over 46 laps.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan