Testing update - Indy preparations continue 19 Sep 2003
Michael Schumacher again topped the times at Jerez on Thursday as he completed Ferrari's three-day programme in preparation for next weekend's United States Grand Prix.
Schumacher put in 96 laps of set-up and tyre testing ahead of the Indianapolis race, outpacing Toyota's Ricardo Zonta by over half a second.
Zonta did 60 laps of the 4.428-kilometre track, also working on tyres and set-up. The Brazilian will complete Toyota's Jerez programme on Friday, while Olivier Panis will work on aerodynamic development at Paul Ricard in France.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen was third fastest, as he took over at Sauber from team mate Nick Heidfeld. He covered 86 laps to finish the team's programme, verifying the data recorded by Heidfeld and testing tyres and downforce levels for Indianapolis.
BAR were the final team on track at Jerez. Their day was dominated by an early crash for Jenson Button (see earlier story), which forced them to send both car and driver home. Jacques Villeneuve continued their programme alone, finishing the day half a second down on his team mate.
At Silverstone, Williams rounded off their three-day schedule, with Juan Pablo Montoya again heading the times ahead of tester Marc Gene, as the pair continued the team's preparations for the final two rounds of the season.
"We have had a good test at Silverstone with Juan Pablo and Marc," said Williams' Chief Operations Engineer Sam Michael. "We covered all of the programme and found some mechanical improvements to the car that we will take to the US Grand Prix. Both cars completed tyre tests to finalise compound choice for Suzuka as well."
Williams were joined at the British circuit by Jordan, with Zsolt Baumgartner taking over from Ralph Firman to bring their two-day programme to a close. The Hungarian finished the day just over three seconds off Montoya's pace.
Finally, Ferrari also put test driver Luca Badoer to work at Fiorano. The Italian had two programmes to complete: carrying out the shakedown of two of the cars which will be used in the United States race, as well as working on electronic developments on the F2003-GA.
Unofficial Jerez times, Thursday:
1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1:19.176
2. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota, 1:19.720
3. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Sauber, 1:19.990
4. Jenson Button, BAR, 1:20.401
5. Jacques Villeneuve, BAR, 1:20.935
Unofficial Silverstone times, Thursday:
1. Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 1:20.006
2. Marc Gene, Williams, 1:20.750
3. Zsolt Baumgartner, Jordan, 1:23.364