Tuesday September 4th, 2001
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello topped the timesheets on Tuesday at the Mugello circuit, where some Formula One teams began a three-day testing session in preparation for next week's Italian Grand Prix.
Only two days after finishing fifth at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, the Ferrari driver returned to the wheel at the Italian circuit, concentrating on testing different Bridgestone tyre compounds as well as on the team's launch control system.
Barrichello competed 37 laps and was almost 1.5 seconds quicker than Frenchman Jean Alesi, who finished right behind the Brazilian in Belgium last Sunday. The Jordan driver was the busiest man today, completing a total of 53 laps.
Recently crowned British Formula Three champion Takuma Sato, alongside second-placed Anthony Davidson, worked for the BAR team at the Italian circuit. The Japanese driver was the fastest of the duo, setting the third quickest time of the day, less than three tenths behind Alesi.
Davidson, who already tested for the British American Racing team at the Vairano circuit in August, was slowest. The Brit's day was cut short at the end of the morning session when he spun off the track in turn 9.
"Today has been a good learning curve - It's a new track for me and this being only my second test for the team, I'm still getting used to everything," Davidson said. "There's a lot to take in but I feel comfortable with the car and was pleased with my pace early this morning.
"My day was unfortunately cut short when I ran wide and touched the kerb going into turn 9. It's a shame but it's all part of the process. Silverstone is my next test. I've already raced there in F3 so I'm looking forward to going back."
The test, which was hampered by the rain in afternoon, continues on Wednesday.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:24.668
2. Alesi Jordan-Honda (B) 1:26.088
3. Sato BAR-Honda (B) 1:26.351
4. Davidson Williams-BMW (B) 1:27.648
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 17:09:14 GMT