Private test: Trulli tops as Renault shines

Renault's Jarno Trulli headed the Friday test session at the Monaco Grand Prix by a convincing margin, giving him a crucial headstart ahead of this afternoon's opening qualifying session

Private test: Trulli tops as Renault shines

Trulli lapped the 2.094-mile lightly revised Monaco street circuit in 1m16.888s, just 0.2s slower than last year's pole position time from Juan Pablo Montoya. The Italian set a new sector one best on his next lap and seemed on course for an improvement, when he had a moment on the exit of Loews hairpin and lightly tapped the barrier.

Both Trulli and fellow Italian Giancarlo Fisichella (Jordan-Ford) are acknowledged Monaco experts and it was Fisi who set the second quickest time of the session, some 0.7s behind the Renault man.

Mark Webber, who loves Monte Carlo, opened up with third quickest time for Jaguar, lapping just one hundredth quicker than Allan McNish, who ran a mammoth 51 laps in the session. Webber had a quick trip down the Sainte-Devote escape road, but otherwise encountered no dramas.

Fernando Alonso broke a left rear wheel when he ran wide into the tyre barrier at Mirabeau and also had a straight-on moment at the tight harbour front chicane.

Ralph Firman (Jordan) did just one lap fewer than McNish as he concentrated on getting some mileage under his belt on a circuit that is especially tough on novices. Spare a thought, then, for Toyota's Cristiano da Matta, who will get just an hour's acclimatisation time before going straight into first qualifying!

Antonio Pizzonia also got 43 laps in before running wide with the second Jaguar at Massenet, damaging the right hand side of the car against the unforgiving barrier. The Minardi pair, meanwhile, was just four tenths adrift of Pizzonia, with Justin Wilson outdoing Jos Verstappen by five hundredths.

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Trulli Fastest in Friday Testing - Monaco GP

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