Alonso fastest in Friday testing 21 Mar 2003
Fernando Alonso set the fastest time during this morning's free test session in Sepang, two tenths of a second faster than Giancarlo Fisichella's Jordan Ford, which spoiled a Renault clean-sweep late in the session. The Spaniard spun, but otherwise had an uneventful session. The Italian worked away at setting up his EJ13, and lapped in 1m 37.815s compared to Alonso's 1m 37.693s. Jordan said it was pleased to have ironed out some software glitches since Melbourne.
For reference, Michael Schumacher took pole position for last year's race in 1m 35.266s.
Jarno Trulli was third fastest with 1m 37.851s, and Allan McNish fourth in the third Renault on 1m 38.851s. The Italian was one of several drivers to go off the track without damaging his car.
On his first acquaintance with the track, rookie Ralph Firman ended up fifth quickest, on 1m 40.296s, just ahead of Antonio Pizzonia (1m 40.784s) and Jos Verstappen (1m 40.923s). Pizzonia was another who went off, but Jaguar team-mate Mark Webber had a troubled time and went off permanently after only eight laps and was last on 1m 49.907s. "We ran out of time to bleed the rear brakes," the Australian pondered, "but I think maybe I just ran a bit wide."
Justin Wilson was eighth, on 1m 41.929s, a second away from his Minardi team-mate.