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Monza day three - Gene fastest of four 06 Jun 2005

Marc Gene (ESP) Ferrari F2004. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 10-16 January 2005. World ©  Bumstead/Sutton

Ferrari, BAR and Sauber completed the week’s third and final day of testing at Monza on Friday, with Marc Gene setting the pace for the world champions.

In another session bathed in sunshine, Gene continued with a programme centred on Bridgestone tyre development and aerodynamics for forthcoming races, the Spanish tester completing a total of 63 laps.

Anthony Davidson and Enrique Bernoldi were again in action for BAR. Davidson, second fastest, ran through further aerodynamic evaluations in the 007, a Michelin tyre test and ran the latest spec engine from Honda to its target mileage, completing a total of 141 laps.

"It is good to be back in the car,” said Davidson. “We completed a lot of laps today and have covered almost 3000kms in two days at the Monza test. We completed the planned Michelin tyre test and a number of aero evaluations - both of which have provided very positive results. In terms of performance we definitely are a step up from where we were at the last race and the car itself generally feels good - more like it should feel."

Bernoldi’s morning got off to a slow start due to a gearbox and engine change. A spin into the gravel also cost him running time but he recovered ground in the afternoon session, completing 97 laps for the day to finish fourth in the times.

"It was very exciting for me to be back in Monza at a fast track that I have not driven on since I competed in F1,” said the Brazilian. “My programme over the two days testing in Monza was mainly to test the Indianapolis tyre options. On the first day we completed almost all of the planned programme, with many long runs. The car feels good and I think that this was a very positive test for the team."

Splitting the BARs was the Sauber of Felipe Massa, who put in 92 laps in the C24. "Today we have further worked on our race preparation for Indianapolis and could verify the data we gathered the last two days,” explained Jacky Eeckelaert, Sauber’s chief race engineer.

"Overall, I can say that the test this week went well. In those three days we could run more than 1,600 kilometres and the C24 proved once again its high reliability. We were able to complete our scheduled programme for the Canadian and United States Grand Prix, whereby we concentrated on the evaluation of new aerodynamic parts for the required medium downforce at these two races, and worked with Michelin on the tyre selection. Considering the outcome of this test I believe that we are well prepared for the forthcoming North American rounds."

Elsewhere in Italy, Ferrari were also testing at Fiorano, with Luca Badoer carrying out the shakedown of the three cars that will be used in Montreal this weekend. The Italian driver did a total of 27 laps (ten on the short version of the track), setting a best time of 59.622s.

Unofficial Friday times from Monza:
1. Marc Gene, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:21.428
2. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:21.810
3. Felipe Massa, Sauber (Michelin), 1:21.937
4. Enrique Bernoldi, BAR (Michelin), 1:22.653