Atlas F1 News Service

Coulthard Fastest at Monza Testing - Day Three

Thursday July 5th, 2001

McLaren driver David Coulthard topped the timesheets at Monza, on the third day of testing at the Italian track. The Scot clocked a lap of 1:24.024, some two tenths of a second faster than Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen, who finished the day in second.

Coulthard's teammate, Mika Hakkinen, set the third fastest time of the day, albeit over half a second adrift from his teammate. However, both the McLarer drivers set a slower time than McLaren's test driver Alexander Wurz, who recorded a 1:23.838 in yesterday's session.

Coulthard and Hakkinen concentrated on tyre testing, and the team was pleased with the new compound tested in the afternoon. "The handling of the new tyre feels the same," Coulthard commented afterwards, "but I think it may have been a bit quicker. And, if it's quicker, then it must be good."

Jordan's Jarno Trulli carried out tyre comparisons for Bridgestone and continued work on general set-up and brake evaluation for the Italian Grand Prix. The team's test driver Ricardo Zonta spent the morning evaluating various aerodynamic packages and brake options, but his day was cut short when a component failure caused him to spin off the track into the gravel. Jordan later said significant damage was sustained by the car, but Zonta was unhurt.

Further action was seen when Raikkonen's engine expired during a hot lap. However, Sauber stated the engine had "reached its alloted mileage" and did not break down due to a problem.

Raikkonen himself, who concentrated on aerodynamic tyre evaluation, said he was pleased with today's work. "It's good to be back in the car again at Monza," the young Finn said. "We worked through our programme today and learned more about setting the car up both for Hockenheim and for the race here in September."

Today's times:

Pos  Driver      Team-Engine            Time      Laps
 1.  Coulthard   McLaren-Mercedes  (B)  1:24.024  76
 2.  Raikkonen   Sauber-Petronas   (B)  1:24.261  78
 3.  Hakkinen    McLaren-Mercedes  (B)  1:24.613  61
 4.  Trulli      Jordan-Honda      (B)  1:24.870  52
 5.  Lotterer    Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)  1:25.068  53
 6.  Zonta       Jordan-Honda      (B)  1:25.494  40
 7.  Manning      BAR-Honda        (B)  1:25.549  78
 8.  de la Rosa  Jaguar-Cosworth   (M)  1:26.056  50

All Timing Unofficial

Published at 17:24:30 GMT

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