Monza, day 1: Gene flies for Williams

Marc Gene continued the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's good Monaco form by setting the fastest lap on the first day of testing at Monza. Gene, along with Sauber's Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Felipe Massa (in a Ferrari F2002) were all running in low-downforce Monza trim as they work towards the Italian GP in September

Monza, day 1: Gene flies for Williams

Anthony Davidson, testing for BAR-Honda, was second quickest. This was particularly impressive considering the Englishman was running with a set-up based on the Canadian Montreal circuit - the next round on the calendar.

Davidson completed 62 laps as Honda concentrated on perfecting a high-torque specification on its V10 engine to cope with Montreal's stop-and-start nature. Team-mate Takuma Sato was worked on Bridgestone tyre compounds for the race, but was slowest after sitting out the morning with an undefined leak which required the team removing the floorpan from the car. BAR also forgot to bring the Japanese driver's seat along!

Frentzen, fresh from crashing early in Monaco, was third quickest ahead of Massa, who had a quick spin in the afternoon, although no damage occurred to the Ferrari.

Ricardo Zonta was fifth fastest for Toyota and the Brazilian had a lucky escape after suffering a delaminated front Michelin tyre on one of Monza's super-fast straights. Zonta reported a massive feeling of oversteer, but brought the car under control and returned to the pits.

McLaren split duties with Pedro de la Rosa running an 2003-spec MP4-17D to assess Michelin tyres for Canada, while race drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard buried themselves in MP4-18 development work at Barcelona.

Williams and Toyota also split the load, running test squads at Silverstone also and will be joined tomorrow by Renault and Jordan which only have limited testing time available because they have opted to run on Friday mornings at GPs.

Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m23.216s 53
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m24.024s 62
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Sauber-Petronas B 1m24.073s 68
Felipe Massa Ferrari B 1m24.075s 103
Ricardo Zonta Toyota M 1m24.411s 55
Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes M 1m24.421s 62
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda M 1m24.608s 23

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin

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Gene Sets the Pace at Monza - Day One

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