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Wurz quickest after Davidson crash 25 May 2006

Anthony Davidson (GBR) Honda F1 Racing Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 25 May 2006

Anthony Davidson converted his Honda RA106 into a tricycle on Thursday afternoon in Monaco, moments after setting the fastest lap time of 1m 16.075s.

The resultant red flag was the second of the session, as earlier the Englishman had dislodged a marker stick in the Swimming Pool. It was the second incident that hurt more, however, as he got the entry to Ste Devote wrong and understeered helplessly into the tyre wall, removing the Honda’s front wing and left front wheel.

Davidson’s effort remained the best, however, until two minutes from the end. It resisted Fernando Alonso’s 1m 16.221s, which left the world champion fourth overall, but not Alex Wurz’s 1m 15.907s which made Williams and Cosworth very happy.

Behind them, McLaren’s Juan Pablo Montoya posted 1m 16.138s to pip Alonso, while Red Bull’s Robert Doornbos was right behind the Spaniard with 1m 16.292s.

McLaren had a scare this morning with fears that Kimi Raikkonen had suffered an engine failure, but it transpired that a carbon shield over an exhaust had caught fire. The greatest damage was caused by fire extinguisher foam, but the McLaren crew soon had it all cleaned up and the Finn resumed with little delay once the session began. He was sixth fastest, on 1m 16.707s. Then came Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 16.721s) for Renault, Red Bull’s David Coulthard (1m 16.870s) and the Honda of Jenson Button (1m 16.903s).

Felipe Massa completed the top 10 for Ferrari, lapping his 248 F1 in 1m 17.251s to beat the new Toyota TF106B of Jarno Trulli (1m 17.325s). Midland’s Tiago Monteiro was a surprise 12th on 1m 17.439s, which was enough to oust Rubens Barrichello who did 1m 17.456s. In a pact with friend and fellow countryman Tony Kanaan, Barrichello is wearing a helmet painted by Sid of Brazil in Kanaan’s colours, while the Indy Racing League racer is wearing one painted in Rubinho’s livery at Indianapolis this weekend.

Giorgio Mondini did a good test job for Midland to record 1m 17.497s, then came the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher on 1m 17.603s and Tonio Liuzzi for Toro Rosso on 1m 17.638s. Mark Webber did not go out for a serious run until near the end, lapping his Williams in 1m 17.744s as a result, while Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher (1m 17.793s), Nico Rosberg (1m 17.845s) in the final Williams and BMW Sauber’s Jacques Villeneuve completed the runners under 1m 18s with 1m 17.874s.

Red Bull’s Christian Klien didn’t do much running for his 1m 18.123s, and nor did Nick Heidfeld who lapped his BMW Sauber in 1m 18.257s. Scott Speed was next on 1m 18.420s for Toro Rosso, narrowly beating Christijan Albers’ Midland on 1m 18.430s.

Not long after Davidson’s gaffe, an electronic failure meant Robert Kubica lost the back end of his BMW Sauber and clobbered the barriers with his left rear wheel. Out came red flag number three.

The first corner also caught out Mondini (twice) and Super Aguri’s Franck Montagny, though neither sustained damage on their visits to the run-off area.
Montagny had the satisfaction of lapping faster than team mate Takuma Sato (1m 18.731s to 1m 19.803s), leaving Kubica 26th on 1m 19.273s and Toro Rosso’s Neel Jani 27th on 1m 19.445s.

Thursday is always a funny day in Monte Carlo, as the track rubbers up, and the order does not necessarily reflect what we can expect for final practice and qualifying on Saturday.