Atlas F1 News Service

Irvine Ends Monza Test on Top - Final Day

Friday July 20th, 2001

Eddie Irvine put another promising performance on Friday as he topped the timesheets for the second consecutive day at the Monza circuit in Italy, where seven Formula One teams ended a four-day session aimed at preparing for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Irvine, who was also fastest on Thursday despite completing only thirteen laps after a suspension failure hampered his progress, completed a total of 65 laps today and was more than three tenths of a second quicker than Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams.

Montoya tested a variety of aero developments as well as the variability of aerodynamic performance based on different fuel loads and tyre options for Michelin. The Colombian worked alongside test driver Marc Gene, who replaced Ralf Schumacher at the wheel of the second Williams. The Spanish driver was fifth quickest.

"On the engine side we have been working on a lot of tasks, the main targets were improving the traction control and trying a top exit exhaust," explained BMW's Mario Theissen. "We also supported an extensive test programme on the chassis and tyres.

"The test in Monza not only made possible a good preparation for the Italian Grand Prix in September, but also for the next Grand Prix in Hockenheim, where we will be facing long, engine-demanding straights, too."

The McLaren team worked again with two drivers, Mika Hakkinen being the fastest on third place while Austrian Alexander Wurz was eighth. Brazilian Ricardo Zonta drove the only Jordan on track today, finishing right behind Hakkinen in fourth.

Rubens Barrichello was sixth quickest for Ferrari, the Italian outfit testing the latest evolution of their 050 engine, which will be used at the German Grand Prix next week. The Brazilian was happy with his day's work despite an engine problem.

"I am happy with the way testing went," said Barrichello. "Yesterday, we were able to do a long distance run, which went very well. Today we also gathered a lot of interesting data on the set up of the car and I am pleased that I managed to do around 500 kilometres, even if at the end, we had a small engine problem."

Jacques Villeneuve for the British American Racing team, and Jenson Button with the Benetton were slowest today.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  Irvine        Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:24.555
 2.  Montoya       Williams-BMW        (M)    1:24.887
 3.  Hakkinen      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:24.935
 4.  Zonta         Jordan-Honda        (B)    1:24.990
 5.  Gene          Williams-BMW        (M)    1:25.188
 6.  Barrichello   Ferrari             (B)    1:25.505
 7.  de la Rosa    Jaguar-Cosworth     (M)    1:25.523
 8.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes    (B)    1:25.652
 9.  Villeneuve    BAR-Honda           (B)    1:25.841
10.  Button        Benetton-Renault    (M)    1:26.289

All Timing Unofficial

Published at 17:06:58 GMT


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