Final Day of Testing at Monza

Fernando Alonso, Belgian GP 2004

Fernando Alonso, Belgian GP 2004 

 © The Cahier Archive

Fernando Alonso topped the times at 1:20.621 in the final day of testing at Monza this afternoon. Alonso is the third driver in the last three days to top the time sheets for the group test - following Michael Schumacher and Antonio Pizzonia.

Although the Renaults did not seem too quick on days one and two, they appeared a lot closer to the front during today's final session. They have been concentrating heavily on setups for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix. Both drivers have reported that they have made excellent improvements to the car's handling during the day.

"Our final day of testing at Monza was relatively trouble-free, and both drivers have achieved a balance they are reasonably happy with," commented chief test engineer Christian Silk, " This will provide a good starting point for them in free practice next Friday. Overall, we have had a successful week, making our tire choice for the grand prix, and without experiencing any mechanical problems with the engines at all, which is and extremely encouraging sign."

Jenson Button took second place continuing to show BAR's competitive performance. Also on track for BAR was Anthony Davidson, while Takuma Sato headed to Santa Pod Raceway to complete the team's shakedown. Davidson was sixth fastest for the day.

Williams-BMW held the third and fourth position with Montoya just slightly quicker than Pizzonia. "We've had a productive test," technical director Sam Michael summed up, "We worked on insuring that we have a solid brake and engine cooling package for next weekend's grand prix, while also evaluating different mechanical and aerodynamic set-ups."

Kimi Raikkonen who finished second to Pizzonia yesterday, was a little further back on during today's test and only narrowly beat McLaren test driver Alex Wurz's time.

The top ten was completed by Ferrari test driver, Luca Badoer and Jaguar's Christian Klien. Badoer had already been scheduled to take Michael Schumacher's place today despite the 2004 World Champions heavy crash yesterday during testing.

All of the teams were on the track except for Minardi Cosworth who conducted their testing sessions at the Vallelunga Circuit, near Rome today. Champcar and Superfund World Series by Nissan driving star, Tiago Monteiro took the wheel of the Minardi PS04B to get himself acquainted with the F1 car while doing some setup work for the team.

Saturday Qualifying Session
POS DRIVER NATIONALITY ENTRANT TIRE TIME
1. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault 1:20.611
2. Jenson Button Britain BAR-Honda 1:20.692
3. Juan Pablo Montoya Colombia Williams-BMW 1:20.770
4. Antonio Pizzonia Brazil Williams-BMW 1:21.035
5. Jarno Trulli Italy Renault 1:21.035
6. Anthony Davidson Britain BAR-Honda 1:21.131
7. Kimi Raikkonen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.152
8. Alex Wurz Austria McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.234
9. Luca Badoer Italy Ferrari 1:21.238
10. Christian Klien Austria Jaguar-Cosworth 1:21.569
11. Felipe Massa Brazil Sauber-Petronas 1:21.630
12. Olivier Panis France Toyota 1:21.996
13. Mark Webber Australia Jaguar-Cosworth 1:22.113
14. Ricardo Zonta Brazil Toyota 1:22.271
15. Nick Heidfeld Germany Jordan-Ford 1:23.503

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