With the Australian Grand Prix fast approaching, the final week of testing got under way at four different circuits today. At Jerez, Michael Schumacher managed to set the first and second fastest times: quite a feat even for the champion, although...
With the Australian Grand Prix fast approaching, the final week of testing got under way at four different circuits today. At Jerez, Michael Schumacher managed to set the first and second fastest times: quite a feat even for the champion, although it was in two different cars rather than Schumacher going so fast he lapped himself.
In the F2003-GA, the German clocked as quickest of 1:25.321 and was just over a second slower in the F2002. Electronics and tyres were the programme for the day for Schumacher while test driver Luca Bodoer had an installation lap it the F2003-GA in preparation for driving the car tomorrow. Ferrari also had Felipe Massa on track at Fiorano, the Brazilian setting a best time of 57.954 over 37 laps of the short track, working on electronics.
Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya was also at Jerez, third quickest, and test driver Marc Gene was on track at Imola. The Spaniard was second fastest of the three cars present. "The weather has been kinder to us here in Italy than our other test team in Jerez!" said test team manager Tim Newton, regarding the poor weather conditions in Spain.
"Here we have been able to carry out some good work with Marc driving a development of last year's FW24. Despite the rain Juan Pablo has managed a decent number of laps in Spain however, which will also have produced some good data for us"
Jacques Villeneuve set the best time at Imola for BAR, a 1:22.860 over 30 laps. Toyota had Cristiano da Matta on duty, third fastest, the Brazilian's first visit to the circuit. In the interim TF102B da Matta had a good morning session but minor problems in the afternoon.
At Silverstone Kimi Raikkonen topped the times for McLaren, his best a 41.728 over 28 laps and David Coulthard was third quickest. Renault was also present at the UK circuit, Jarno Trulli second quickest and tester Allan McNish rounding off the times.
"We started our shake-down for the Australian Grand Prix. Jarno completed some long runs for final reliability checks as well as the shake-down of one of the Melbourne chassis," said Renault technical director Mike Gascoyne.
"Allan worked also on further suspension evaluation in the R202. Overall we had an useful day of testing. Tomorrow we will continue to shake-down the rest of the Melbourne chassis, conducting some suspension work."