Monza test, day two: DC before rain

David Coulthard topped the times after a rain-affected second day of Formula 1 testing at Monza

Monza test, day two: DC before rain

Rain fell just after two o'clock in the afternoon and continued for most of the rest of the session, but the Scot's best pre-rain time of 1m26.05s edged BAR's Ricardo Zonta into second place by just 0.21s. Coulthard's McLaren team mate Mika Hakkinen was third quickest, a further 0.07s behind Zonta.

Monza is undoubtedly a power circuit, and that was reflected in the make-up of the top six: the two Mercedes-powered McLarens were joined by the Honda-powered BARs of Zonta and Jacques Villeneuve in second and fifth and the Jordan-Mugen Hondas of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli in fourth and sixth. But it was a totally trouble-free day for the horsepower brigade, with both DC and Zonta stopping out on the circuit.

Biggest surprise of the day was the form of Minardi's Marc Gene, who posted a best lap just 0.71s off Coulthard's benchmark. With fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso tipped to take his Minardi seat next year, it was a timely display by Gene. With Ferrari's Michael Schumacher 10th and Rubens Barrichello 15th, Gene's Minardi was quickest of the Italian-based machines.

The morning session was punctuated by two sizeable accidents for Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella and Sauber's soon to depart team-leader Mika Salo. Salo went off at the first chicane, while Fisichella followed up his Belgian GP warm-up shunt with an off at Ascari. Fisichella suffered a bruised elbow in the accident, but the car's tub stood up well to the impact and will be rebuilt at the team's Enstone HQ.

The latter part of the day was given over to wet weather testing, but with two more complete days still to run, Ferrari will be hoping to get up among the top times on its home turf before next weekend's Italian GP kicks off for real.


D Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.05s 43
R Zonta BAR-Honda 1m26.26s 42
M Hakkinen McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.33s 32
H-H Frentzen Jordan-Mugen Honda 1m26.41s 49
J Villeneuve BAR-Honda 1m26.50s 65
J Trulli Jordan-Mugen Honda 1m26.55s 47
R Schumacher Williams-BMW 1m26.63s 15
J Verstappen Arrows-Supertec 1m26.70s 52
M Gene Minardi-Ford 1m26.76s 63
M Schumacher Ferrari 1m26.84s 65
J Button Williams-BMW 1m26.84s 28
A Wurz Benetton-Supertec 1m26.91s 28
M Salo Sauber-Petronas 1m26.95s 34
G Fisichella Benetton-Supertec 1m27.02s 29
R Barichello Ferrari 1m27.22s 50
P Diniz Sauber-Petronas 1m27.57s 28
G Mazzacane Minardi-Ford 1m27.60s 28
J Herbert Jaguar 1m28.18s 31
N Heidfeld Prost-Peugeot 1m28.18s 49

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