Testing update - Williams on top in France 09 May 2003
Ralf Schumacher was the fastest man around the Paul Ricard circuit in France on Thursday, as testing continued ahead of next weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.
Schumacher took over where Williams colleague had left off on Wednesday, topping the times with a best lap of 1m 11.221s after a total of almost 100 laps.
Alexander Wurz (1m 11.322s) and David Coulthard (1m 12.069) continued their work with McLaren, recording the second and third-fastest times respectively, ahead of Renault's Jarno Trulli (1m 12.780s), who along with test driver Allan McNish (11th - 1m 15.015s) wrapped up the French team's two-day programme.
"Jarno continued to run the new-spec engine in the R23," reported Renault technical director Mike Gascoyne. "He also concentrated on long runs to assess the tyres with Michelin for the Zeltweg circuit.
"Allan completed his scheduled day's work in the R202 covering suspension work and a tyre programme."
Sauber were the other team to finish their week's programme, with Nick Heidfeld taking over from team mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen to go tenth with a time of 1m 14.052s.
The Swiss team completed set-up work for Monaco, as well as further aerodynamic testing for the Austrian Grand Prix. However, they were forced to cut short their tyre test in the afternoon after a drive shaft failure.
Toyota fielded two cars, with Ricardo Zonta fifth fastest (1m 13.013s) ahead of Olivier Panis in eighth (1m 13.574s), while for BAR Takuma Sato took over from testing colleague Anthony Davidson and went sixth (1m 13.161s). Team mate Jenson Button was ninth (1m 13.601s).
The Jaguar of Mark Webber completed Thursday's line-up at Paul Ricard in seventh spot (1m 13.432s). With the exceptions of Renault and Sauber, all the teams present will continue running on Friday.
Elsewhere, Ferrari brought their three-day test at Monza to a close, with Felipe Massa at the wheel of an F2002. The young Brazilian continued tyre development work for Bridgestone, completing 55 laps of the standard track with a best time of 1m 22.800s.
All times are unofficial.