Monza test, day 1: Frentzen up front

With temperatures in Italy soaring, Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen set the pace on the first day of Formula 1 testing at the Monza circuit ahead of fellow countryman Nick Heidfeld in second place

Monza test, day 1: Frentzen up front

The day was uncharacteristically free of incident and running went off without a single red flag. With only four cars present, before the Jaguar and British American Racing teams join proceedings tomorrow (Wednesday), the drivers made the most of having the track to themselves to work on low downforce set-ups.

Despite topping the time sheets however, Frentzen was not entirely happy with the pace of his Honda-powered EJ11, but admitted it was early days.

"Just because I'm the quickest, doesn't mean the car is as good as it could be," said Frentzen. "It's only the first day here, so we'll see."

The McLaren-Mercedes of test driver Alex Wurz led the early running and the Austrian was the only man to dip into the 1m25s bracket during the morning session, when temperatures reached a scorching 32 degrees C.

However, in the afternoon, some cloud cover offered welcome protection from the sun and the cooler conditions saw the rest of the runners' times come down.

Frentzen's benchmark time at the top was 1m24.67s, closely followed by Heidfeld. Wurz finished the day third with Jordan tester Ricardo Zonta bringing up the rear in fourth.

Zonta's slower pace was not entirely of his own making however, as the Jordan team had limited the revs on the Brazilian's Honda engine, in order to test a certain aspect of the car's aero package.


Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jordan-Honda B, 1m24.67s, 73 laps
Nick Heidfeld, Sauber-Petronas B, 1m24.89s, 82 laps
Alex Wurz, McLaren-Mercedes B, 1m25.03s, 88 laps
Ricardo Zonta, Jordan-Honda B, 1m25.15s, 58 laps

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