McLaren on Top at Monza - Day Two

The McLaren-Mercedes pair of David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen ended the second day of testing at Monza, Italy, on top of the timesheets, Coulthard leading his Finnish teammate by two tenths of a second.

McLaren on Top at Monza - Day Two

The McLaren-Mercedes pair of David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen ended the second day of testing at Monza, Italy, on top of the timesheets, Coulthard leading his Finnish teammate by two tenths of a second.

Testing continued at the North-Italian track, ahead of next week's Grand Prix, with all ten teams present at the circuit for the first time since the beginning of the season.

Behind the McLarens was Heinz Harald Frentzen for Sauber, finishing a surprising third of the day but over half a second behind Coulthard.

"Today we have mainly tested new aerodynamic parts," said Jacky Eeckelaert, Sauber's head of vehicle engineering. "In the morning we specifically worked on the Monza preparation and evaluated a new car floor as well as revised turning vanes. However, due to the rain which set in we were forced to interrupt our aerodynamic programme.

"In the afternoon we were able to continue and checked a new rear wing which will be used at the Indianapolis race. We also worked on Bridgestone for the US Grand Prix. Tomorrow Nick Heidfeld will help us to verify the data we gathered these days."

Behind Frentzen was Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, whose brother Ralf was absent after he returned to his home in Austria to rest, following a heavy crash yesterday. Schumacher, along with teammate Rubens Barrichello and the team's test driver Luca Badoer, concentrated on tyre testing, aerodynamic and set-up work, which the team begun yesterday.

Fifth fastest was Juan Pablo Montoya for Williams, who was running alongside the team's test driver Marc Gene. The Spaniard was called in to replace Ralf Schumacher, however he was not able to run more than four installation laps in the afternoon, as the team was shipping new chassis and parts to the track, from the factory.

"We mainly ran this afternoon, and not this morning, because we were waiting for some parts and the other test car to arrive to replace the chassis that we damaged yesterday," said Sam Michael, Williams's Chief Operations Engineer.

"In the afternoon, we did some aero testing, set up work and tyre testing on Juan Pablo’s car. We managed to do an installation lap before the end of the session with Marc’s car, so we will be ready to run that tomorrow."

Making a first appearance in Monza this week were Renault drivers Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso. The pair ended eighth and tenth fastest, respectively.

"It was a useful day," commented Renault's technical director Mike Gascoyne. "We successfully evaluated the new low downforce package, and completed a significant amount of tyre development, focusing on constructions and compounds for the race. Jarno also ran with an uprated engine specification today.

"Both drivers completed their programmes, although Fernando was less happy with his car balance than Jarno. Tomorrow, we will continue with our tyre development and also concentrate on general set-up work for the Grand Prix."

Also making their first appearance were the Jordan drivers, with Giancarlo Fisichella accompanied by Hungarian Zsolt Baumgartner, who is replacing Ralph Firman. "We worked through our programme of various developments for the next few races without any serious issues today," commented Jordan's Gary Anderson at the end of the day.

The Minardi team was also present, With Jos Verstappen and Gianmaria Bruni sharing between them the sole PS03 brought to Monza. "We had a few problems with the car this afternoon, and my tyre comparison runs were interrupted with a fuel pump problem and then a red flag," Verstappen said. "At least I have now driven on the track, though, so I have some idea what to expect for the next race."

Running the most laps of the day was BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve, who accumulated a massive 139 laps total, running successful race simulations in both the morning and afternoon sessions. His teammate Jenson Button and test driver Takuma Sato were also busy at work, running tyre, aerodynamic and set-up testing.

Times and lap numbers appearing below have been confirmed by each driver's team, except those appearing with an asterisk, which were supplied by Sauber and have not been confirmed by their respective teams.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.546 49 * 2. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.761 80 * 3. Frentzen Sauber-Petronas (B) 1:22.127 75 4. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:22.131 60 5. Montoya Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.140 28 6. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:22.147 58 7. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:22.221 33 8. Trulli Renault (M) 1:22.413 84 9. Button BAR-Honda (B) 1:22.496 79 * 10. Alonso Renault (M) 1:22.633 70 11. Panis Toyota (M) 1:22.650 59 12. Webber Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:22.808 52 * 13. Sato BAR-Honda (B) 1:22.831 52 * 14. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:22.910 56 15. Wilson Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:22.928 52 * 16. da Matta Toyota (M) 1:23.111 81 17. Villeneuve BAR-Honda (B) 1:23.186 139 * 18. Baumgartner Jordan-Ford (B) 1:24.136 76 19. Fisichella Jordan-Ford (B) 1:24.617 59 20. Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:24.712 25 21. Bruni Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.240 34 22. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:25.493 4 All Timing Unofficial

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Monza, day 2: Coulthard ahead again

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