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Monza day two - Alonso steals Hamilton's thunder 30 Aug 2007

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4/22 Formula One Testing, Day One, Monza, Italy, 29 August 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Christian Klien (AUT) Honda RA107 Formula One Testing, Day One, Monza, Italy, 29 August 2007.  World © Patching/Sutton Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F248 F1 Forrmula One Testing, Day One, Monza, Italy, 29 August 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Williams Toyota FW29 aero detail. Formula One Testing, Day One, Monza, Italy, 29 August 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker. Forrmula One Testing, Day One, Monza, Italy, 29 August 2007. World © Patching/Sutton

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was the quickest man in action on Wednesday as testing continued at Monza. Alonso set a fastest time of 1m 23.155s at the Italian circuit, knocking team mate - and Tuesday’s pacesetter - Lewis Hamilton off the top of the timesheets.

The McLaren pair shared the MP4-22 during the day, with Hamilton in the hot seat in the morning and Alonso taking charge after lunch. The Briton continued his programme from Tuesday, carrying out aero work and tyre comparisons, while the Spaniard spent time on set-up and mechanical work for next month’s Italian Grand Prix. Both drivers covered 49 laps.

Nick Heidfeld took the third-fastest slot for a second consecutive day for BMW Sauber. Heidfeld, who covered 84 laps, continued to work on the F1.07’s set-up and will hand over driving duties to team mate Robert Kubica on Thursday. Just over three-hundredths of a second down on the German was Jarno Trulli for Toyota. Trulli ran 61 laps and made good progress with his set-up programme.

“We had a good day and improved many aspects of the car,” explained the Italian. “I was much happier with the braking stability and we also made strong progress with the aerodynamic set-up. We improved our lap time, which is positive, and I am now confident of a strong race here at Monza in next week’s Italian Grand Prix. The home fans are always passionate and enthusiastic and I have seen that again these past two days. I hope that I can give them something to cheer!”

Wednesday’s fifth-quickest driver was Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari. Raikkonen continued development of new aerodynamic and mechanical additions to the F2007 for the forthcoming Italian race and completed 58 laps. Team mate Felipe Mass will take over on Thursday.

Over three-tenths off the Ferrari’s pace was the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen in sixth. Kovalainen concentrated on set-up work for the R27’s low-downforce package and completed 76 laps. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, took seventh spot for new team Toro Rosso. Vettel was particularly productive, covering 101 laps - the equivalent of almost two Grand Prix distances. The young German focused on testing the team’s new front and rear wing.

Alexander Wurz was eighth fastest for Williams. Although a small technical issue interrupted it briefly, the Austrian completed the majority of his programme over 71 laps. Ninth was the Honda of tester Christian Klien, who worked through simultaneous aero and suspension evaluations.

Two-tenths down on Klien was Red Bull’s Mark Webber, in tenth. Webber enjoyed a second trouble-free day in the car, wrapping up his set-up and tyre work over 83 laps. The Australian will hand over the RB3 to team mate David Coulthard on Thursday.

Completing the line-up on Wednesday was Super Aguri’s Takuma Sato in 11th and Spyker’s Adrian Sutil in 12th. Although Sato’s day was interrupted by two hydraulic problems, he did manage to complete 80 laps. Spyker’s new B-Spec car, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful outing, with Sutil running 76 laps to finish the session just over three-tenths off the pace of Sato.

Testing is scheduled to continue for a third day at Monza on Thursday, but heavy rain is forecast.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Monza:
1. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:23.155
2. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:23.454
3. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:23.725
4. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:23.759
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:23.773
6. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault, 1:24.093
7. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso, 1:24.266
8. Alexander Wurz, Williams, 1:24.356
9. Christian Klien, Honda, 1:24.595
10. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:24.701
11. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:24.976
12. Adrian Sutil, Spyker, 1:25.278