Thursday September 6th, 2001
World Champion Michael Schumacher finished on top of the timesheets on the final day of testing at the Mugello circuit in Italy, where Ferrari, BAR, Jordan and Minardi completed a three-day session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix next week.
The Ferrari driver, who joined the test today taking over from teammate Rubens Barrichello, continued with the Italian's programme, concentrating on set-up and tyre testing at the wheel of the F2001. Schumacher was over a second faster than Frenchman Olivier Panis driving the first of the British American Racing cars.
Spaniard Fernando Alonso drove the only Minardi present at Mugello today, after both Andrea Piccini and Alex Yoong had tested on Wednesday. 20-year old Alonso set an impressive pace with the underpowered PS01, being only six hundreds of a second slower than Panis after 72 laps.
"This has been the best test so far," said Alonso. "We tried some interesting solutions in several areas and the car is now very good, as the lap times today show. It really feels like we are making progress and that gives us confidence for the remaining races. I'm pleased with the way things have gone here in Mugello."
Veteran Jean Alesi completed Jordan's testing programme, the Frenchman being the only driver working for the Silverstone-based team over the three days. Japanese Takuma Sato, who yesterday impressed by setting the second fastest time for BAR, ended at the bottom of the timesheets on Thursday.
"It's been a difficult test because of the weather," Sato said. "We've had a couple of problems as well so I couldn't run as much as expected. It's still been a positive 3 days in many ways though and we have made some good progress."
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:24.226
2. Panis BAR-Honda (B) 1:25.626
3. Alonso Minardi-European (M) 1:25.687
4. Alesi Jordan-Honda (B) 1:26.172
5. Sato BAR-Honda (B) 1:26.818
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 17:29:38 GMT