Ralf Schumacher fastest at Monza while DC goes home

DAVID COULTHARD left Monza without even having managed a lap having contracted a stomach bug, leaving the BMW Williams team to howl round the Italian circuit faster than all comers by a vast margin.

Ralf Schumacher logged his 1m 23.940s in the morning session, some half second faster than team mate Juan Pablo Montoya and over a second to the good of third placed Alex Wurz, although the German's engine let go early in the afternoon session.

European Minardi appeared, with Fernando Alonso and potential new boy Alex Yoong, to try out a modified undertray, barge boards, a new rear wing and exhaust. Yoong was the slowest of the group and Alonso only completed two shakedown laps without setting a time with speculation growing that the Malaysian's first race will be at Spa this August.

With Michael Schumacher having the aches and pains of his monumental accident eased away at home in Geneva, Rubens Barrichello took over for Ferrari but started the session late as he could not find a good set-up on the new chassis 212 that was shipped from Monza overnight.

Rain stopped play at 15.50 when there was brief downpour, although this cleared up there were on and off heavy showers for the rest of the afternoon, ensuring that the track was very wet. Testing continues tomorrow.

MONZA TEST - WEDNESDAY, 18 JULY 2001

POS

DRIVER ENTRANT TIME

1.

RALF SCHUMACHER Williams-BMW 1:24.000

2.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA Williams-BMW 1:24.453

3.

ALEXANDER WURZ McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.994

4.

JARNO TRULLI Jordan-Honda 1:25.134

5.

EDDIE IRVINE Jaguar 1:25.357

6.

PEDRO DE LA ROSA Jaguar 1:25.364

7.

OLIVIER PANIS BAR-Honda 1:25.803

8.

RICARDO ZONTA Jordan-Honda 1:26.089

9.

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Benetton-Renault 1:26.273

10.

JENSON BUTTON Benetton-Renault 1:26.563

11.

RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari 1:27.334

12.

FERNANDO ALONSO European Minardi 1:30.927

13.

ALEX YOONG European Minardi 1:31.569

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