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Testing roundup 17 Apr 2003

Nick Heidfeld (GER) Sauber Petronas C22.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, Brazil, 5 April 2003

Almost every Formula One team has taken advantage of the circus' return to Europe by pursuing their testing programmes.

Sauber completed a tyre test at Monza. Nick Heidfeld put in 81 laps, posting a best time of 1m23.373. Race Engineer Rezi Decorzent said, "The new aerodynamic parts needed further checks and we believe that we have found some directions to make them work efficiently under race conditions. We are happy with what we have achieved and look forward to Imola."

Meanwhile over at Circuit Paul Ricard, Marc Gene posted the fastest time in testing for Williams BMW. He put in 72 laps, the best of which, a 1m07.073, relegated Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren to second on a 1m07.724. Raikkonen was joined by McLaren test drivers Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa, whilst Gene was joined by Olivier Beretta who replaced Ralf Schumacher and finished last in the standings.

Ricardo Zonta was fourth for Toyota and Jenson Button, the only Bridgestone runner, was sixth in the BAR with a time of 1m08.669.

Back in Italy, Ferrari was having problems with the F2003-GA. The new car ground to a halt at Mugello with what was believed to be an engine problem. At Fiorano however the team had more luck, Luca Badoer putting in over 150 laps in the F2003-GA. He later carried out shakedown tests on the F2002 cars which Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello will use in Imola.