Monza day two - Villeneuve to the fore 15 Jun 2006
A strong performance from BMW Sauber saw Jacques Villeneuve heading the times at Monza on Wednesday, with team mate Nick Heidfeld confirming their impressive form with the third-fastest time.
Villeneuve and Heidfeld ran different programmes in preparation for the forthcoming Canadian and US Grands Prix, their work including tyres, aerodynamics, engine cooling, electronics, front axle development and general set-up.
Splitting the BMW Saubers in the hot conditions - track temperature reached 50 degrees Celsius - was the Williams of Nico Rosberg. The Cosworth-powered team tested several different front suspension geometries on the Germans car, as well as running set-up and tyre comparisons. Team mate Alexander Wurz (ninth fastest) also looked at rear-wing evaluations and modified exhausts.
The Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen were fourth and fifth fastest, both men working on engine developments and tyres, with the Hondas of Anthony Davidson and Jenson Button immediately behind them, the British duo concentrating on aero developments and tyres.
Both Red Bull-owned teams were on track, with Toro Rossos Scott Speed leading the way in eighth, ahead of the Red Bull Racing cars of David Coulthard and Robert Doornbos in 10th and 13th spots respectively. Vitantonio Liuzzi had to take over Doornbos's car after the Dutchman pulled out with an upset stomach.
In amongst the Red Bull machines were the Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher, the teams two racers taking over development of the TF106B from Tuesday runners Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis.
Testing continues at Monza on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday times from Monza:
1. Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:23.381
2. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:23.429
3. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:23.514
4. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:23.664
5. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:23.871
6. Anthony Davidson, Honda (Michelin), 1:23.989
7. Jenson Button, Honda (Michelin), 1:24.398
8. Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (Michelin), 1:24.627
9. Alexander Wurz, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:24.402
10. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:24.806
11. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:25.010
12. Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:25.295
13. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:26.806
14. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:27.594