Monza test, day three: Jacques pips McLaren

Torrential rain stopped play early again at Monza today (Thursday), but not before BAR-Honda's Jacques Villeneuve had topped the timesheets, ahead of David Coulthard's McLaren-Mercedes

Monza test, day three: Jacques pips McLaren

In a repeat of yesterday's form, Honda, Mercedes and Mugen Honda were the class of the field on the Italian power circuit. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan-Mugen Honda), Mika Hakkinen (McLaren) and Ricardo Zonta (BAR) completed the top five prior to the heavens opening just after three o'clock. The rain subsided after two hours, but only Williams ventured out at the end of the day.

Prior to the heavens opening, Ferrari had improved on its form of the previous two days, but was still only sixth and seventh overall. Michael Schumacher edged Rubens Barrichello, but was over a second off Villeneuve's 1m26.296s top time.

But if the Prancing Horse disappointed the thousands of tifosi present, Italy's other team, Minardi, continued to surprise, with Marc Gene taking ninth overall.

Pedro Diniz was involved in the day's most bizarre incident: his Sauber lost its engine cover at high-speed, had a new one fitted bythe team, then immediately lost that one too. Despite that, the Brazilian finished the day 12th overall.

Tomorrow is the fourth and final day of Monza testing in preparation for next weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Showers are forecast once again...


J Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1m26.296s 59
D Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.905s 22
H-H Frentzen Jordan-Mugen Honda 1m26.992s 39
M Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.172s 35
R Zonta BAR-Honda 1m27.318s 38
M Schumacher Ferrari 1m27.411s 33
R Barrichello Ferrari 1m27.560s 35
P de la Rosa Arrows-Supertec 1m27.598s 50
M Gene Minardi-Ford 1m27.628s 50
M Salo Sauber-Petronas 1m27.722s 44
R Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m27.800s 31
P Diniz Sauber-Petronas 1m27.935s 25
J Trulli Jordan-Mugen Honda 1m8.001s 25
J Alesi Prost-Peugeot 1m28.277s 24
A Wurz Benetton-Supertec 1m28.303s 50
E Irvine Jaguar 1m29.259s 45
G Mazzacane Minardi-Ford 1m29.364s 13
J Button Williams-BMW 1m39.806s 5

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