Mugello day 3: Schumacher fastest

Michael Schumacher set the fastest time on the third day of F1 testing at Mugello today (Thursday). Despite his substantial lead in the championship standings, the Ferrari ace opted to test in preparation for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka because he reckons he would never be able to forgive himself if he didn't do everything he could to ensure he wins the title

Mugello day 3: Schumacher fastest

The German completed a massive 129 laps, and spent much of his time evaluating the tyres that Ferrari testers Luca Badoer and Felipe Massa had been working on for the previous two days. Schumacher was so efficient in doing this that he has decided not to continue testing tomorrow as scheduled, and has instead packed up and gone home.

"We would like to do as much as we can because we really want a fifth constructors' title in a row for Ferrari," Schumacher told autosport.com. "I'm not particularly concerned for the next race, but I'll never forgive myself if we don't do all the things we could do. We just have to do all the work we need to do for Suzuka."

Luca Badoer was second fastest for Ferrari, working on the team's Suzuka spec engine and general set-up.

BAR was the only other team present at Mugello. Anthony Davidson was the fastest of the team's runners, conducting a rear suspension development programme for next year's car. The parts will also be featured on a hybrid car that BAR will use for winter testing, which will feature this year's monocoque with a new rear end and engine.

The Briton finished his programme early, which cleared the way for F3000 champion Bjorn Wirdheim to have his much delayed first run for the team. The Swede was forced to use Jacques Villeneueve's seat for the run - which naturally didn't fit him that well - and completed just seven laps in the final half hour of the session.

"It was difficult because I only got about half an hour in the car," Wirdheim told autosport.com. "It was supposed to be a full day of testing. I wanted to do some laps in the car because I'm meant to be doing a lot of testing in December. I wanted to get the feel of the car. It's a bit bigger than the Jordan."

Takuma Sato was also in action for BAR, working on tyre construction evaluation. His work was hampered by a gearbox problem and a new set-up the team ran, which Sato wasn't particularly comfortable with.

Ferrari will run in private at Mugello tomorrow, with Luca Badoer the sole driver in action.

Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m22.001s 129
Luca Badoer Ferrari B 1m22.470s 81
Anthony Davidson BAR-Honda B 1m24.031s 86
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda B 1m24.074s 88
Bjorn Wirdheim BAR-Honda B 1m26.720s 7

B = Bridgestone

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