Schumacher tops Silverstone test

Michael Schumacher has ended Thursday's Silverstone testing for the British Grand Prix fastest overall, despite his brother Ralf leading most of the day in the Williams BMW

Schumacher tops Silverstone test

The Ferrari star was one of only two drivers to dip below 1m26s with a lap of 1.25.83.

Second was the Jordan of Heinz Harald Frentzen, no doubt buoyed by the birth of his daughter Lea on Monday. The Jordan driver completed 64 circuits of the Northamptonshire track - more than anyone but Fisichella, proving that the reliability of the Jordan is improving.

Third was the impressive Ralf Schumacher, with a fastest lap of 1.26.33, followed by McLaren's Mika Hakkinen. The McLaren team were one of only two, the other being Jordan, to rig their cars with the new spec pit lane speed limiters (as described in the separate story).

Arrows once again demonstrated their test pace with Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa in fifth, spurred possibly by the near tropical (for Silverstone) temperatures of 11 deg C.

The test was marred by the crash suffered by Ricardo Zonta shortly after 11 o' clock.

His car left the track at Stowe on only the Brazilian's fifth lap, and came to rest in a restricted area beyond the gravel trap. The BAR's front right wheel landed further into the restricted area, banned to all personnel, in a space between the two grandstands at that corner.

Zonta escaped with only a cut finger. Schumacher seemed to be more concerned about the accident at the site of his own season-ending shunt last year than the memories of the latter crash. "My return to Silverstone for the first time since my accident had less of an effect on me than the accident Zonta had today," said the double world champion.

"As for the test, I can say that the car performed really well. We were able to run in both the wet and the dry and I think we can be competitive at Silverstone as well. However, it was difficult to get a good day's testing in because of the constant red flags interrupting the session."


Times

































































































































Pos


Driver


Team


Time


Laps


1


M Schumacher


Ferrari


1.25.83


50


2


Frentzen


Jordan


1.25.88


64


3


R Schumacher


Williams


1.26.33


27


4


Hakkinen


McLaren


1.26.33


34


5


De La Rosa


Arrows


1.26.54


53


6


Button


Williams


1.26.55


42


7


Fisichella


Benetton


1.26.59


70


8


Wurz


Benetton


1.26.70


32


9


Panis


McLaren


1.26.91


41


10


Diniz


Sauber


1.27.18


61


11


Trulli


Jordan


1.27.62


31


12


Irvine


Jaguar


1.27.72


28


13


Herbert


Jaguar


1.27.92


25


14


Verstappen


Arrows


1.28.02


38


15


Heidfeld


Prost


1.28.38


32


16


Salo


Sauber


1.28.66


32


17


Gene


Minardi


1.29.18


15


18


Mazzacane


Minardi


1.30.95


19


19


Zonta


BAR


1.37.32


4


20


Villeneuve


BAR


1.38.81


12

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