Monza 1: Schu keeps flying

Michael Schumacher doesn't like losing much, even when he's just secured a seventh world title. And the Ferrari ace proved it on the first day's testing at Monza by going fastest, having announced to the world that he intends to carry on racing at least until 2006

Monza 1: Schu keeps flying

Ferrari chose to introduce new modifications to its engine at Monza after last weekend's defeat in Spa. After all, during such a successful season as this, the last place the team wants to be beaten is on home turf, and the Italian Grand Prix takes place in just over a week's time.

Today was mainly a tyre test for everybody and while Schumacher concentrated mainly on low fuel qualifying runs, his team-mate, Rubens Barrichello, worked on a race simulations. The Brazilian proved very competitive and ended the day less than a tenth slower than the new world champion.

Anthony Davidson will have been Ferrari's only serious concern today. The little Englishman was super-quick during his BAR-Honda race simulation on Michelin tyres and recorded a lap less than two tenths off Schumacher's best. But there was nothing between him and Barrichello over the long distance runs.

Alexander Wurz was fourth fastest for McLaren ahead of Takuma Sato, who was reported to be running a new specification Honda engine for the first time today.

Juan Pablo Montoya was sixth fastest, 1.5s off the ultimate pace, but ahead of Renault's Fernando Alonso. Christian Klien was eighth fastest, immediately ahead of the man who hit him in Belgium, David Coulthard.

Antonio Pizzonia, fresh in the knowledge that he will be racing in the Italian Grand Prix after all, was 10th fastest, ahead of Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella, Toyota's Olivier Panis and Renault's Jarno Trulli. Mark Webber was more than half a second slower than Jaguar team-mate Klien, while Ryan Briscoe in 15th, was back in action after his spectacular Eau Rouge shunt last Friday.

Both Jordan and Minardi made rare testing appearances, ensuring that all ten teams were represented for the first time in an unofficial session this year. Giorgio Pantano outpaced Bas Leinders by a tenth, although both were more than three seconds away from the ultimate pace.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m20.191s 72
Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m20.241s 88
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda M 1m20.361s 107
Alexander Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m20.582s 94
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda M 1m21.462s 94
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW M 1m21.652s 88
Fernando Alonso Renault M 1m21.713s 101
Christian Klien Jaguar M 1m21.740s 59
David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes M 1m21.822s 97
Antonio Pizzonia Williams-BMW M 1m21.862s 81
Giancarlo Fisichella Sauber-Petronas B 1m22.030s 88
Olivier Panis Toyota M 1m22.050s 88
Jarno Trulli Renault M 1m22.300s 58
Mark Webber Jaguar M 1m22.391s 80
Ryan Briscoe Toyota M 1m22.774s 48
Giorgio Pantano Jordan-Ford B 1m23.350s 73
Bas Leinders Minardi-Cosworth B 1m23.450s 62

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Schumacher Quickest at Monza - Day One

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