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Monza day one - masterful Massa on top 30 Aug 2006

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari and Footballer Roberto Carlos (BRA). F1 Testing, Day 1, Monza, Italy. 29th August 2006. World ©  Patching/Sutton. Anthony Davidson (GBR) Honda F1 Test Driver F1 Testing, Day 1, Monza, Italy. 29th August 2006. World ©  Patching/Sutton. Alex Wurz (AUT) Williams test driver F1 Testing, Day 1, Monza, Italy. 29th August 2006. World ©  Patching/Sutton. Olivier Panis (FRA) Toyota TF106 F1 Testing, Day 1, Monza, Italy. 29th August 2006. World ©  Patching/Sutton. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R25 F1 Testing, Day 1, Monza, Italy. 29th August 2006. World ©  Patching/Sutton.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa consolidated his Turkish Grand Prix victory with the fastest time in the opening day of testing at Monza on Tuesday. Massa’s best lap of 1m 22.359s was over two tenths of a second quicker than that of veteran Ferrari tester Luca Badoer.

Massa completed 70 laps of the Italian Grand Prix circuit as he and Badoer spent the day evaluating tyres and set-up for the upcoming Monza race and launched an engine endurance programme for the 248 F1. Massa will be joined at the track by Michael Schumacher on Wednesday.

Williams’ Mark Webber made it a 1-2-3 for Bridgestone with a convincing performance for the Cosworth-powered team. Webber was joined by Williams test driver Alexander Wurz, who clocked the 11th fastest time.

“Our main objective this week is to test a new aero package specifically designed for this track and to select our tyres for the race,” explained the team’s test manager, Mike Condliffe. “We started the three-day test with some initial set-up work on the new aero package and then moved on to tyre testing with both Mark and Alex.”

Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella took fourth slot. The Italian’s two-day programme began with set-up work and then a tyre evaluation, but mechanical problems ended his run after 91 laps. The R26 will be fixed overnight and Fisichella will continue on Wednesday. Renault tester Heikki Kovalainen clocked the sixth-quickest time - almost half a second slower than his team mate. The Finn worked with tyre suppliers Michelin on finding the best options for the Italian Grand Prix.

Splitting the Renaults in fifth place was the Honda of Anthony Davidson. The British test driver had a busy day working through aerodynamic and tyre evaluations for the Monza race. Fellow Honda tester James Rossiter, evaluating tyres, clocked 114 laps on his way to ninth. Race drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button are set to put in an appearance later on in the week.

After a challenging race in Turkey and the three-week test ban, Tuesday allowed Toyota to finally implement some developments devised back in the factory. Local boy Jarno Trulli ended the session seventh quickest and was pleased with progress: "The car ran well today and I liked the balance of the Monza aero package. We worked on tyre testing and braking stability for the race here next week. I am still positive about the car and tomorrow we will continue to prepare our set-up.”

Meanwhile, Toyota’s test driver Olivier Panis ran 70 laps and clocked the tenth-fastest time. The Frenchman was limited to only running one set of soft tyres after a small mechanical problem hampered him late in the afternoon.

Rookie Sebastian Vettel was the quicker of the two BMW Sauber drivers present, finishing eighth to Nick Heidfeld’s 12th. Both worked on a variety of aero and tyre evaluations for the Italian race in addition to engine development.

In the 13th slot was Neel Jani, the only Red Bull/Toro Rosso driver to make an appearance on Tuesday, whilst Midland’s Giorgio Mondini set the final time to take 14th. Mondini began the team’s three-day test checking their Monza aero package, verifying brake cooling and beginning set-up work. He will be replaced by race driver Christijan Albers on Wednesday.

Super Aguri’s Sakon Yamamoto completed Tuesday’s line-up, but was unable to complete more than three installation laps after several issues with his SA06.

Monza will get even busier on Wednesday, with all 11 teams (including McLaren, who chose to skip Tuesday’s session) set to make an appearance.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Monza
1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:22.359
2. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:22.539
3. Mark Webber, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:22.743
4. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:22.895
5. Anthony Davidson, Honda (Michelin), 01:23.185
6. Heikki Kovalainen., Renault (Michelin), 1:23.242
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:23.424
8.Sebastian Vettel, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:23.772
9. James Rossiter, Honda (Michelin), 01:23.910
10. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:24.038
11. Alexander Wurz, Williams (Bridgestone), 1:24.057
12. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:24.088
13. Neel Jani, Toro Rosso (Michelin), 1:24.299
14. Giorgio Mondini, Midland (Bridgestone), 1:25.500
15. Sakon Yamamoto, Super Aguri (Bridgestone), no time