Monza day one - Heidfeld hounds Fisichella 14 Jun 2006
Renaults Giancarlo Fisichella was the fastest of ten drivers in testing at the Italian circuit of Monza on Tuesday. Fisichella was just one thousandth of a second faster than Nick Heidfeld, who had another encouraging outing in the BMW Sauber.
Fisichella was joined by Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen (third fastest) as the team began set-up and tyre preparations for the forthcoming Canadian and United States Grands Prix.
"Our first day was really satisfying and we already completed the first half of our tyre testing, said Christian Silk, Renaults chief test engineer. We noticed interesting results of the new package we would like to use for the Canadian GP. The car worked pretty well and the drivers seemed happy with the testing we completed. Giancarlo has a very good experience on this track and Heikki did his first session in F1 in Monza today. He was really efficient, which is very satisfying as well."
The BMW-Sauber team started their morning with preparation for the special requirements of Montreal. This meant Heidfeld and Robert Kubica (fifth) checking downforce levels, brakes and general set-up. In the afternoon Kubica focused more on the balance of the F1.06 and completed three long runs for tyre testing. Heidfeld also carried out a comparison of different front and rear wings.
Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz were fourth and tenth fastest respectively for Williams. Nico mainly concentrated on both tyre construction and compound tests while Alex started the morning session working on the gearbox before evaluating some aero parts, explained Mike Condliffe, test team manager. After lunch, Alex moved on to some suspension development work.
The Toyotas of Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis took sixth and eight spots, split by the Honda of Anthony Davidson, who missed much of the morning session due to an engine problem. Davidson was partnered by fellow tester James Rossiter, who was ninth fastest on his first visit to Monza.
Testing continues at Monza until Thursday. The majority of those teams not running in Italy this week begin testing at Paul Ricard in France on Wednesday.
Unofficial Tuesday times from Monza:
1. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:23.647
2. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:23.648
3. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:23.739
4. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:23.816
5. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:24.330
6. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:24.656
7. Anthony Davidson, Honda (Michelin), 1:24.842
8. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:25.424
9. James Rossiter, Honda (Michelin), 1:25.530
10. Alexander Wurz, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:27.017