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Private test session review – San Marino 18 Apr 2003

Greg Wheeler (RSA) Minardi Engineer with Jos Verstappen (HOL) Minardi Cosworth PS03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, 18 April 2003

Antonio Pizzonia was the fastest driver after this morning's two-hour private practice session at Imola, which was held in perfect weather conditions. The Amazonian covered 33 laps for Jaguar Racing to set the best time of 1m 23.099s.

Team-mate Mark Webber supported him strongly with a 1m 23.457s, running for 37 laps and taking third quickest time. Between the two Jaguars came Brazilian Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella in the Jordan Ford, who lapped in 1m 23.239s while completing 31 laps.To complete the symmetry, Fisichella's team-mate Ralph Firman put in his most competitive showing yet in Formula One to lap in 1m 23.885s for fourth fastest time.

Renault had a very tough session, and its three cars were next. Jarno Trulli was the quickest of them on 1m 24.003s, but had a mechanical problem that obliged him to switch over to use the T-car. Fernando Alonso, bearing no sign of his heavy impact at the end of the Brazilian race, recorded 1m 24.298s, and Allan McNish 1m 25.264s. The Scotsman's car also encountered a mechanical problem halfway through, and later ended in a gravel trap after he hit the inner and outer kerbs in Turn Nine. The car was not damaged.

On this occasion there were three Minardi Fords, too, with Italian national racer Matteo Bobbi joining Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson for the morning as part of a four-race deal with Minardi owner Paul Stoddart.

The Dutchman lapped in 1m 25.005s, the Englishman in 1m 26.374s on his first acquaintance with the track in a Formula One car. Bobbi covered 17 laps, for a best time of 1m 29.433s.