Nine teams on track for testing 2003-02-26

Nine of the ten teams took to various tracks today in the final few days left of testing before Melbourne, some completing winter test programmes before packing up to head to Australia. At Jerez Michael Schumacher topped the times, his best a ...

Nine of the ten teams took to various tracks today in the final few days left of testing before Melbourne, some completing winter test programmes before packing up to head to Australia. At Jerez Michael Schumacher topped the times, his best a 1.25.626 over 53 laps in the F2003-GA. Felipe Massa continued for the Scuderia at Fiorano, shaking down three F2002 chassis.

Also at Jerez were the McLaren duo of David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen, second and third quickest respectively, ahead of the Toyota of Olivier Panis. Bad weather prevented the Frenchman from much running but he continued with set-up work in the TF103-01.

The final car at Jerez was the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya, while team tester Marc Gene continued at Imola, where he was fastest of the day with a 1:22.918. Both worked on set-up: "In Jerez today we evaluated more Michelin tyres and completed detailed chassis and software set-up for Melbourne," said test team manager Tim Newton. "Here at Imola we worked also on tyres but also some other systems development."

Jacques Villeneuve was second fastest at Imola for BAR and Toyota's Cristiano da Matta had his last day at the circuit before taking over from Panis at Jerez tomorrow. The Brazilian ran an interim TF102B chassis in preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix at the circuit in April. Test driver Ricardo Zonta will take over at Imola tomorrow.

Alex Wurz was fourth fastest for McLaren and the last two slots were taken by Minardi's Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson. It was the final pre-season test for the team and evaluation of software and aerodynamics was the programme as the second of the new PS03 chassis ran for the first time.

In the UK, four teams were on duty and Jordan's Ralph Firman took the honours at the top of the times, his best being 42.372. The other Jordan of Giancarlo Fisichella was sixth. Mark Webber was second quickest for Jaguar and concluded the team's winter programme by shaking down the spare car ready for Melbourne.

BAR test driver Takuma Sato was third fastest while the 4th, 5th and 7th times of the day were occupied by Renault. Tester Allan McNish was the quickest of the trio, followed by Trulli and Alonso was bottom of the times. McNish continued development work in an R2002 chassis while Trulli and Alosno shook down two R23s and practiced pit stops.

Sauber completed its winter test programme last week.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan