Testing around Europe

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello 

 © The Cahier Archive

Preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix are well under way as the teams plan their first trip to North America in the 2003 season, with testing taking place all over Europe today.

At the Silverstone test Cristiano da Matta was fastest in his Toyota with a lap of 1m22.382s. Ralf Schumacher was next fastest in his Williams-BMW with a 1m23.495s, and Ralph Firman and Giancarlo Fisichella were third and fourth quickest in their Jordan-Ford's. This was the first time this season that Jordan is conducting a two-day, two car test.

In Italy, Rubens Barrichello tested the F2003-GA for the first time at Monza. The team tested aerodynamics specifically for Montreal, while Felipe Massa continued tire development for Bridgestone in last year's car. Barrichello was quickest for the day with a lap of 1m22.584s. Ferrari will complete their final day of testing in Monza tomorrow.

Second quickest was Marc Gene for Williams-BMW with a lap of 1m22.631s, while Massa was third quickest with 1m23.283s and Heinz-Harald Frentzen was next up in his Sauber. Also testing in Monza were Jacques Villeneuve, Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato for BAR-Honda, Olivier Panis for Toyota, and Pedro de la Rosa for McLaren-Mercedes.

Kimi Raikkonen got to test the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-18 for the first time today at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona. When asked about the car Kimi said, "I really enjoyed my first test of the MP4-18 today and the car feels good. We managed to do a number of laps and obviously I'm learning about the car all the time. Every time I went out it got better and better and I look forward to continuing the work tomorrow."

The Finn will continue testing the new car tomorrow, and will be joined by his team mate David Coulthard, who will get his first taste of the new car.

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