Monza Day Three - Fisichella from Badoer 04 Jun 2004
Saubers Giancarlo Fisichella set the pace at Monza on Thursday in the weeks third day of testing at the Italian Grand Prix circuit. The Italian covered 97 laps in the C23 to set a best time of 1m 20.701s.
It was Fisichellas first day in the cockpit, but it was unfortunately cut short after a tyre failure, prompting the team to end their programme early. The incident followed team mate Felipe Massas accident on Wednesday.
"Today we followed our programme and tested some new aerodynamic parts as well as brakes, explained Sauber race engineer, Giampaolo Dall'Ara. We have also done some Bridgestone tyre work.
"Unfortunately in the late afternoon Giancarlo's rear left tyre burst when he entered the start/finish lane. For safety reasons we decided to stop the test for today and will check the car thoroughly. However, we will be able to continue as scheduled tomorrow."
Luca Badoer was second fastest as he continued Ferraris programme of tyre and new component testing. The Italian completed a total of 76 laps with a best time of 1m 20.742s. He hands over to Andrea Bertolini on Friday.
Williams wrapped up their three-day programme with Ralf Schumacher third fastest. Work in Monza has focused on brake, tyre and aero testing, with Ralf testing various new components for the FW26 in preparation for the United States and Italian Grands Prix, explained technical director, Sam Michael. The low speed corners at Montreal precipitate heavy brake wear, hence the work going on at Monza.
BAR also completed their Monza programme on Thursday. Anthony Davidson was fourth fastest in the Honda-powered 006, despite cooling and electrical problems hampering his progress.
Of his weeks work Davidson commented: "On our first test day at Monza we were not able to clock up many laps due to the poor weather conditions, however the balance of the car felt good The second day of the test was the best by far; the car felt good and we recorded the fastest lap of the day - a 1:20.608 - completing 123 laps. We also collected a lot of data from a very constructive Michelin test, so I am confident in the tyre choice that we have made for Indianapolis."
Toyotas Ricardo Zonta finished fifth in the times ahead of McLarens David Coulthard. However, the Brazilians day was cut short by a high-speed accident in the morning. Zonta was unhurt after going off at the Parabolica, but his TF104 was badly damaged and he is not expected to test on Friday. Fellow Toyota tester Ryan Briscoe completed the timesheets.
Conditions for Thursdays Monza session were cloudy, with occasional sunshine and track temperatures of up to 33 degrees Celsius. Testing continues at the circuit on Friday.
Unofficial Thursday times from Monza:
1. Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (Bridgestone), 1:20.701
2. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:20.742
3. Ralf Schumacher, Williams (Michelin), 1:21.230
4. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:21.457
5. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:21.788
6. David Coulthard, McLaren (Michelin), 1:22.063
7. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (Michelin), 1:22.416