JULY 17, 2001
Zonta quickest at Monza while Courtney impresses
JAMES COURTNEY raised eyebrows upon his debut in a Formula 1 car by ending the day faster than either McLaren-Mercedes long standing test driver Darren Manning and Benetton racer Jenson Button.
The Australian's pace was impressive, and it is thought that his claim on the test driver's position, vacant since Pedro de la Rosa was promoted to the race team and Tomas Scheckter was fired as tester, is considerably strengthened.
Michael Schumacher, who is in a commanding lead of this year's world championship, lost control as he braked from around 180mph for the Seconda Variante after the rear end of his Ferrari snapped out too far, too fast for the German to catch.
The reigning world champion was pitched into the retaining barrier and launched into a barrel roll, coming to rest against the tire wall at the exit of the chicane. His F1-2001 is badly damaged at the front and will be sent back to the team's HQ in Maranello for a thorough examination.
Schumacher's only comment has been: "I am OK." His continued presence at the test is now up for debate as he returns home to Geneva. Meanwhile testing was delayed for an hour before lunch while the damaged barriers were repaired.
Ricardo Zonta ended the day fastest, while the Williams team set some fairly astounding speeds down the straights despite running a new rear wing designed to provoke a little more downforce for the 'stadium' section of Hockenheim circuit, scene of next weekend's German Grand Prix.
|Print News Story|