Monza test, day 3: Jaguar leaps to top

The Jaguar team signalled its continuing upward turn in the form stakes by finishing first and second at the top of the time sheets on day three of Formula 1 testing at Monza, with Eddie Irvine playing top cat ahead of team mate Pedro de la Rosa

Monza test, day 3: Jaguar leaps to top

The Jaguar team mates were first and third at the lunch time break with de la Rosa out front, but an improvement of more than 1.2s in the afternoon saw Irvine move ahead by the close of play.

With no return of the heavy Italian rain that blighted yesterday's (Wednesday's) running, the teams had a dry day, but most teams were beset by an altogether different and potentially more serious problem - engine trouble.

There were five red flags due to marooned cars out on the track, four of which were caused by engine failures, including two for the McLaren-Mercedes team.

First up was test driver for the Woking-based team Alex Wurz, whose Mercedes V10 expired just before midday. The Austrian completed 49 laps on his way to finishing eighth quickest. British Grand Prix winner Mika Hakkinen could only manage to set the fifth fastest time in the second McLaren, before his engine went the same way and it was an early bath for the Finn.

Engine problems continued for the Benetton team and its radical wide-angled Renault V10. Giancarlo Fisichella, who finished a lowly 12th three seconds off the pace, struggled to find a suitable balance on his B201 and was quite glad to head home early when his engine gave up mid afternoon.

The final engine glitch of the day was saved for the Williams-BMW of Juan Pablo Montoya, to make it three failures in three days for the Grove-based team. The Colombian, who was carrying out diffuser development work, and team mate Ralf Schumacher finished first and second yesterday, but had to make do with seventh and ninth respectively today.

Although the pace-setting Jaguars escaped any engine trouble, bizarrely, the R2s of both Big Cat drivers were affected by the same brake problem with the left front disc. While de la Rosa was able to make it home under his own steam, Irvine was forced to stop and have his car brought back to the pits on the back of a truck.

Third and fourth slots went those with the most trouble-free day, with Jarno Trulli quietly racking up the miles for Jordan in fourth and the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello just ahead in third. The Brazilian is scheduled to complete a race simulation on Friday with the Maranello team's qualifying engine. The unit was due to be raced at Silverstone last Sunday, but is now set to make its debut at Hockenheim next weekend.

Alex Yoong continued for the European Minardi team and got closer to a respectable time, while Fernando Alonso attempted to do some running with a new aerodynamic package, which includes new exhausts, undertray, barge boards and rear wing.

On the third and final day of running at the Valencia circuit in Spain, Nick Heidfeld set the fastest time of the week with a lap of 1m13.774s, almost a second faster than the BAR-Honda of test driver Patrick Lemarie. Heidfeld did more than a Grand Prix distance and completed set-up work for next month's Hungarian round of the World Championship.

"This morning we ran only briefly as we conducted some intensive and time-consuming suspension measurements for future development of the car," said test team manager Jacky Eeckelaert. "We also worked on developing cooling configurations for Budapest, one of the hottest Grands Prix of the year."


Eddie Irvine, Jaguar M, 1m24.10s 29 laps
Pedro de la Rosa, Jaguar M, 1m24.52s 74 laps
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari B, 1m25.05, 72 laps
Jarno Trulli, Jordan-Honda B, 1m25.14s, 70 laps
Mika Hakkinen, McLaren-Mercedes B, 1m25.15s, 51 laps
Jacques Villeneuve, BAR-Honda B, 1m25.16s, 64 laps
Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams-BMW M, 1m25.27, 63 laps
Alex Wurz, McLaren-Mercedes B, 1m25.40s, 49 laps
Ralf Schumacher, Williams-BMW M, 1m26.01s, 43 laps
Ricardo Zonta, Jordan-Honda B, 1m26.18s, 30 laps
Jenson Button, Benetton-Renault M, 1m26.89s, 10 laps
Giancarlo Fisichella, Benetton-Renault M, 1m27.01s, 18 laps
Alex Yoong, Minardi-European M, 1m28.52, 23 laps
Fernando Alonso, Minardi-European M, 1m28.57s 35 laps


Nick Heidfeld, Sauber-Petronas B, 1m13.774s, 86 laps
Patrick Lemarie, BAR-Honda B, 1m14.635, 76 laps

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Jaguar Drivers Top the Times at Monza - Day Three

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