Imola day 1: Schumacher sets the pace

Michael Schumacher set the fastest time in the first day of testing at Imola yesterday (Monday), but he set the time in last year's Ferrari, after encountering problems with the new F2003-GA

Imola day 1: Schumacher sets the pace

The world champion began the session in the 2003 car, but after eight laps he noticed a problem with the car and swapped to the F2002 while the mechanics carried out a complete overhaul on the new machine. His fastest lap in the F2003-GA was a 1m24.250s.

Sauber was the only other team present at the circuit, the team's final test before the opening race of the season. Nick Heidfeld set the second fastest lap of the test, and was 0.6s faster than team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

"It was a good test day," said Frentzen. "We mainly concentrated on the brakes and could gather revealing facts which will be essential for further preparations towards Melbourne. We also worked with Bridgestone to provide the data on which it will base its choice of tyre for Albert Park."

Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m21.615s 51*
Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas B 1m23.757s 76
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas B 1m24.458s 93
Luca Badoer Ferrari B 1m25.053s 14*

B = Bridgestone
* denotes 2002 car

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