On the first day of testing at Monza this season, Felipe Massa has topped the tables and continued his impressive pace from last weekend’s European Grand Prix. With the Italian circuit due to host the fourteenth round of the championship in mid-September, most teams were working on their aerodynamic packages to give them a better understanding of the set up required. Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Rosberg followed the Ferrari pilot close behind in second and third.
Not only was Rosberg impressive in the Williams (although fuel-loads were unknown), Sebastian Vettel ran well in his Scuderia Toro Rosso and completed 99 laps to go fourth on the timing sheets. Nick Heidfeld was driving for BMW and received a wake-up call from his bosses in Munich and Hinwil. It is thought, although not confirmed, that BMW have retained Robert Kubica, but are waiting to see if Heidfeld has fully overcome his mid-season wobble before venturing into the negotiating room with him.
Only one test driver was out on the track today – Vitantonio Liuzzi for Force India. The Italian completed 99 laps and went eighth fastest out of ten runners. Liuzzi’s fastest tour of the track was 0.8s shy of Felipe Massa’s pace-setting time, although once again, relative fuel levels and other factors may have skewed the car’s real pace. Despite this though, the ten drivers were all relatively close to one another, hopefully meaning that the final push of the season will be an even closer fight. first to tenth today was separated by only 1.1s.
Lewis Hamilton was not driving today having admitted that he was suffering from flu and neck spasms during the European Grand Prix in Spain. The McLaren driver has been told to rest but he should be in the car later in the week. McLaren’s managing director Martin Whitmarsh said that Lewis Hamilton should be ready to test at Monza and will therefore be ready for the upcoming back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy.
Monza Test: Day One Times
|1.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||1m23.428s||101 Laps|
|2.||Heikki Kovalainen||McLaren||1m23.439s||78 Laps|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Williams||1m23.461s||60 Laps|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m23.691s||99 Laps|
|5.||Rubens Barrichello||Honda||1m23.827s||85 Laps|
|6.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m24.005s||96 Laps|
|7.||Nick Heidfeld||BMW||1m24.075s||77 Laps|
|8.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India||1m24.239s||99 Laps|
|9.||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||1m24.510s||92 Laps|
|10.||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Renault||1m24.546s||117 Laps|