Rubens quickest on last test day at Monza The final major testing session of the 2002 Formula 1 season ended today at the Monza circuit in Italy. Four of Bridgestone's five teams were in action this week at one of the biggest tests of the year...
Rubens quickest on last test day at Monza
The final major testing session of the 2002 Formula 1 season ended today at the Monza circuit in Italy. Four of Bridgestone's five teams were in action this week at one of the biggest tests of the year in terms of the number of teams present at one time. The session was a taster to the Italian Grand Prix next weekend, the last European round of the championship.
Monza is an exception to the rule that forbids testing at a circuit within three weeks of a race being held there. It is a power track with a layout characterised by fast corners and relatively quick chicanes. The speed of the track, the heavy braking and the importance of traction mean the heat durability of the tyres is critical.
Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone's Technical Manager, said: "It is important for us to test at Monza, not just in our preparation for the race there but also for other tracks that have similar characteristics. It's a tough track on tyres and it is vital that we have the opportunity to put potential race tyres through their paces."
Up to 20 different specifications were tested this week. "The main aim of the test was to determine which tyres would be chosen for the race weekend," explained Suganuma. "But we were also studying some fundamental issues of tyre performance to identify any areas where we can improve."
The first day of the test, Tuesday, was severely disrupted by heavy rain, with drivers able to take advantage of only a couple of hours of dry running in the morning. Michael Schumacher, working in part on tyre testing, set the fastest lap, a 1:24.595.
On Wednesday, DHL Jordan Honda joined Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Sauber Petronas and Lucky Strike B.A.R. Honda at the test with Takuma Sato at the wheel. Michael Schumacher was again the fastest Bridgestone runner, completing 102 laps with a best time of 1:24.233. Olivier Panis was 4th quickest with a 1:24.833. Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve were also in action.
On Thursday, Rubens Barrichello took over at Ferrari, Felipe Massa replaced Nick Heidfeld at Sauber while Giancarlo Fisichella completed DHL Jordan Honda's two days of running.
More heavy rain on Thursday night left a damp track the next morning but Rubens Barrichello ended Friday fastest with a 1:23.056.
Bridgestone was also testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France this week.