Pizzonia tops testing, Schumacher crashes

Pizzonia tops testing, Schumacher crashes

It was another busy day for F1 in Italy, with all ten teams again in action for testing at the Monza circuit. Williams' Antonio Pizzonia was the pacesetter, clocking a best of 1:20.027 a couple of tenths faster than Michael Schumacher's best time...

It was another busy day for F1 in Italy, with all ten teams again in action for testing at the Monza circuit. Williams' Antonio Pizzonia was the pacesetter, clocking a best of 1:20.027 a couple of tenths faster than Michael Schumacher's best time of yesterday. Williams also had Juan Pablo Montoya on track, ninth quickest, and he and Pizzonia racked up 145 laps between them.

Antonio Pizzonia.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

"Juan Pablo drove for 69 laps today, concentrating on starts, set-up work and aero comparisons," said test team manager Tim Newton. "Antonio completed 76 laps working on tyre testing as well as the set-up and aero comparisons for next weekend's race.

Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest, some seven tenths down on Pizzonia, and David Coulthard was also at work for McLaren, 10th quickest. Alex Wurz will be back in action tomorrow to wrap up the test with Raikkonen.

Rubens Barrichello was the top Ferrari, third, and Schumacher was seventh after a big accident. He crashed heavily into the barriers heading towards the first corner after the rear left tyre failed. He appeared somewhat shaken when he got out of the car but was able to walk away after a breather and Ferrari said he was uninjured. Bridgestone is to investigate the cause of the tyre failure.

Prior to the accident, Schumacher worked on set up and an endurance run, while Barrichello carried out tyre and aerodynamic work. Tester Luca Badoer was again on track at Fiorano for the Scuderia and set a best time of 58.712 over 96 laps while working on tyres.

Team test driver Anthony Davidson led a trio of BARs at Monza, fourth fastest, with Jenson Button fifth and Takuma Sato sixth. Fernando Alonso was eighth quickest and Renault teammate Jarno Trulli was 13th. Trulli damaged the car in an off track excursion early in the afternoon which limited his track time.

Before that the Italian ran a Monza spec engine to its full mileage and worked on tyres, while Alonso spent the whole day on tyre tests and racked up 116 laps. "Fernando completed an impressive number of laps and overall we progressed well with the tyre choice for next weekend," said chief test engineer Christian Silk.

Giancarlo Fisichella was again the sole Sauber on track and clocked 11th on the time sheet. He worked on low downforce settings for the Italian Grand Prix as well as brakes and tyres. Teammate Felipe Massa will replace Fisichella on Friday.

"Tomorrow Felipe will take over to get a solid feeling of what Bridgestone tyres, brakes and car set-up we will have for Monza, and will furthermore start to evaluate tyres for the Chinese Grand Prix," said race engineer Giampaolo Dall'Ara.

Jaguar fielded its two race drivers, Christian Klien making 12th quickest and Mark Webber 14th, and the duo continued with tyre and set up work. Toyota also had its racers on track, Oliver Panis 15th and Ricardo Zonta 16th.

Minardi's Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni rounded off the times in 17th and 18th respectively. The pair shared one chassis and Bruni's running was curtailed by a gearbox problem in the morning. Once it was rectified, Baumgartner worked on set up and tyres in the afternoon.

The team was also at work at Vallelunga, near Rome, where Russian Sergey Zlobin returned to a Minardi cockpit for the first time since November 2002. He spent his time re-familiarising himself with the car and set a best of 1:06.850 over 70 laps. Tiago Monteiro will have his first test with Minardi tomorrow.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Antonio Pizzonia , Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Ricardo Zonta , Anthony Davidson , Gianmaria Bruni , Fernando Alonso , Alexander Wurz , Felipe Massa , Tiago Monteiro , Zsolt Baumgartner , Christian Klien
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi