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Double top for BAR in testing 03 Jun 2004

Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, European Grand Prix, Nurburgring, Germany, Practice, 28 May 2004

BAR set the pace at both Monza and Silverstone on Wednesday, with Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato leading the times.

At the Italian Grand Prix circuit, Davidson completed 123 laps, focussing on Michelin tyre development for the forthcoming United States Grand Prix, with a best of 1m 20.600s.

That was just over a tenth of a second quicker than the Ferrari of Luca Badoer. The Italian, who also racked up 123 laps, worked on new component development with the F2004, as well as Bridgestone tyre testing.

Ralf Schumacher was third fastest for Williams, ahead of the Toyota duo of Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis, who both put in close to 100 laps of Monza. Schumacher’s programme was a varied one, including tyre work for Indianapolis and aero and brake development for the Italian race later in the year.

McLaren joined proceedings at Monza, with David Coulthard sixth fastest after 120 laps at the wheel of the MP4-19. That left Sauber’s Felipe Massa to complete timesheets. The Brazilian managed just 17 laps, before a technical glitch brought a premature end to the Swiss team’s programme.

"A problem with a drive shaft caused damage to the left rear suspension,” explained race engineer Giampaolo Dall'Ara. “This incident occurred when Felipe was approaching the first chicane, however, he was able to keep control of the car. We decided to interrupt the test today. We are now doing a thorough analysis in order to understand the exact reason and plan to continue our test programme tomorrow."

Conditions for Wednesday’s Monza session were fine and dry, with track temperatures of up to 33 degrees Celsius. Testing continues at the circuit on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Monza:
1. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:20.600
2. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:20.720
3. Ralf Schumacher, Williams (Michelin), 1:21.492
4. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:21.597
5. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Michelin), 1:22.317
6. David Coulthard, McLaren (Michelin), 1:22.977
7. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Bridgestone), 1:23.229