Spanish test driver Pedro De La Rosa finished the final day of testing yesterday ahead of next weekends Italian Grand Prix in the top spot. Lapping the Monza circuit in 1m23.285, PDLR beat Ferrari’s Felipe Massa by just 0.004s to edge out the Italian team and make it four days out of four that the Woking-based team have controlled the pace. The 100% record will buoy the teams morale no doubt, but Ferrari are not too far behind.
The test at Monza was extended by a day after rain hit the track during the week and hampered the teams by limiting running and generally putting a damper on things. Although Renault and Spyker chose not to run and save mileage for later in the month, the other seven teams were represented and all ran on the fast and challenging track.
BMW continued their hot pace with Robert Kubica taking the third place on the timing sheet, lapping 0.3s shy of Massa’s time. The German team enjoyed success at Monza in last year and have been hyping up their chances for this seasons tour as well. From the testing times this week, it does seem that BMW have a strong package and I suspect they could really hamper the top two teams and get in the mix. If BMW do run well, the team that makes the poorer start to the weekend could face loosing even more points being demoted to behind Heidfeld and Kubica. This race could prove vital to one team, and disastrous to the other.
Nico Rosberg and Ralf Schumacher were inseparable again as the lapped within 0.2s of each, the Williams getting the better of the Toyota. Jenson Button could only manage a lap 0.4s shy of Schumacher, and Vitantonio Liuzzi was a further 0.2s behind again. Anthony Davidson and David Coulthard completed the timing sheet, Super Aguri running ahead of the Red Bull.
|1.||Pedro De La Rosa||McLaren||1m23.285s|
|7.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m24.760s|
|8.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m24.919s|
|9.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m25.185s|