Ferrari and Jordan top testing timesheets 25 Apr 2003
Testing continued at Mugello yesterday with Ferrari once again leading the way. Rubens Barrichello finished the day on top, over half a second ahead of Ferrari tester Luca Badoer, and over a second quicker than the fastest non Ferrari driver, Kimi Räikkönen.
Barrichello's time of 1m21.188 after 87 laps should act as a warning to McLaren and Williams in the run up to the Spanish Grand Prix. Between them, Barrichello and Badoer racked up 168 laps and eased Ferrari's fears over the reliability of the F2003-GA.
Pedro de la Rosa finished the day in fourth place, 0.41 seconds slower than Räikkönen.
Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button were once again on track. The BAR drivers put in almost 200 laps between them, Villeneuve edging out the Briton by less than half a second. They were separated by the two Toyota drivers, Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta, who, after recording Toyota's first two car finish of the season in Imola, are looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix.
Under fire and under pressure, Antonio Pizzonia was slowest in the only Jaguar at Mugello. His time of 1m24.969 was almost four seconds off the pace and close to a second slower than Nick Heidfeld's time in the Sauber.
Meanwhile, over in England, Jordan topped the timesheets at a rain soaked Silverstone. Brazilian Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella only managed to run 20 laps but narrowly edged out his team mate Ralph Firman with a time of 1m22.397. Firman's time of 1m22.568 was the product of almost three times as many laps as Fisichella. Allan McNish's Renault occupied third spot with Marc Gene, the only runner for Williams, finishing the session fourth and last.
Juan Pablo Montoya's crash at Silverstone two days ago meant he did not run yesterday. The adverse weather conditions, coupled with Montoya's high speed accident, from which he walked away unhurt, denied the Williams team the opportunity to run the test session quite as it had envisaged. Montoya was quick to praise the HANS system for reducing the risk of any injury he might have sustained after his car left the track at around 300kmph and crashed into the barriers at Becketts.