Mugello day 1: Badoer tops test battle

With most of Formula 1's race drivers taking a short break to recover from United States Grand Prix jet lag, it was left to Ferrari and BAR's test drivers to pound round Mugello in Italy on the first day of testing. Luca Badoer emerged with the fastest time, heading his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa

Mugello day 1: Badoer tops test battle

On a day where temperatures reached up to 27 degrees, the Ferrari duo both worked on a massive Bridgestone tyre programme, testing compounds developed purely for the final race of the season at Suzuka.

BAR was the only other team present. Takuma Sato set the third fastest time of the day, completing 77 laps before his accident (see separate story). The Japanese driver has now been cleared by doctors and released from hospital, having only suffered bruising on his lower left-leg. Sato will consult with his physiotherapist before deciding if he will continue to drive tomorrow.

"I thought I had taken the same line as before, but it looks like I put the wheels on the grass," Sato told autosport.com on his return to the Mugello paddock. "I started spinning and that was that.

"I feel fine. I've got this cloth soaked in an ointment around my ankle to cool it down. I'll eat now, take some aspirin tonight and see how I feel tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be ok."

Sato had spent the morning working on a tyre testing programme, before switching his attention to a new front suspension package in the afternoon. Fortunately, the front of the car escaped any damage in his crash, so the team will be able to continue running the package tomorrow.

Anthony Davidson was the slowest of the drivers present for BAR, although he did have the excuse that he was recovering from jet lag having flown back from the US GP. He spent the day working on tyres for Suzuka, and was very happy with several Bridgestone soft compounds that he tested.

Minardi are due to join in the running tomorrow, when weather forecasters are predicting that the weather will take a turn for the worse.

Luca Badoer Ferrari B 1m22.687s 74
Felipe Massa Ferrari B 1m23.600s 18
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda B 1m23.940s 77
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m24.455s 87

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