Montoya Flies at Monza - Day Two

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya set a blistering pace on his first day of testing at the Monza circuit, the McLaren driver setting a new unofficial track record at the Italian track

Montoya Flies at Monza - Day Two

Montoya became the first driver to lap Monza in less than 80 seconds in testing, posting a time of 1:19.826 after 49 laps at the wheel of his McLaren.
 
Montoya was one of four McLaren drivers working at Monza, the Colombian and teammate Kimi Raikkonen taking over from test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz, who worked in the morning.

The team focused on long runs as well as tyre selection, and all except Raikkonen managed to complete their programmes. The Finn only covered five laps because of a gearbox problem and also due to the numerous red flags during the session.

Montoya's time was over a second faster than his closest rival Fernando Alonso, who finished second on the timesheets after 99 laps. Renault enjoyed a productive session, with teammate Giancarlo Fisichella also covering nearly 100 laps.

"We had a very good day's testing, with some encouraging results and excellent reliability," said Renault's chief test engineer Christian Silk. "It is always difficult coming to Monza on the first day, as the drivers need some time to adapt to the low downforce configurations and the circuit is often quite dirty.

"However, Fernando and Giancarlo both settled in quickly and we were able to complete plenty of set-up work before beginning our evaluation of tyre compounds and constructions for the race weekend."

Red Bull's David Coulthard finished sixth fastest behind the McLaren trio, the Scot working alongside the team's third driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, 14th quickest.

The Toyota team were in action with three cars today. Test driver Ricardo Zonta drove the current TF105 machine to the eighth quickest time, while Ralf Schumacher worked at the wheel of a revised version of the chassis.

The German, however, had a poor day, first succumbing to an engine failure and then going off the track when the engine had been replaced. Schumacher covered just seven laps and did not set a time.

Teammate Olivier Panis enjoyed a more productive day at the wheel of the car fitted with the V8 engine, the Frenchman covering 78 laps before the power unit suffered a mechanical failure.

At the end of the day, Panis expressed his concerns at lapping so much slower than the rest of the drivers on the fast Italian track.

"The V8 is a good engine but here you can really feel and see the difference, because I was so scared trying to let everybody else overtake me," he told Autosport-Atlas.

Brazilian Felipe Massa continued testing for the Ferrari team, but today he was joined by test driver Luca Badoer, who replaced Rubens Barrichello. Massa, who stopped on track once with a mechanical problem, finished right behind Badoer after 95 laps.

Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve had a productive session with his team, the Canadian completing nearly 100 laps without any problems.

"I nearly did two Grand Prix distances today. The car was okay," Villeneuve told Autosport-Atlas. "We worked on the mechanical and aero set-ups for Monza and we didn't have any problems so we had a productive day.

"But it was very very hot to drive so many laps with the kerbs so high."

Jordan were also in action at Monza, with Tiago Monteiro doing the driving.

All Formula One teams are expected to test at Monza tomorrow, when BAR and Minardi will join.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team Tyres Time Laps 1. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:19.826 49 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:20.867 99 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:21.304 92 4. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.706 49 5. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.922 56 6. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.971 5 7. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:22.004 55 8. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:22.007 105 9. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:22.395 125 10. Massa Ferrari  (B) 1:22.423 95 11. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.491 43 12. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:22.890 98 13. Rosberg Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.951 50 14. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:23.155 35 15. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:24.670 58 16. Panis Toyota (M) 1:27.983 78 17. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) No time 7 All Timing Unofficial 

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