Testing at Monza
The teams have finished testing at Monza and everyone now looks forward to the race next weekend. Although times from test runs are always misleading, there are a few inferences that we can gather from the latest batch.
Predictably, Ferrari set the quickest time although, for a change, it was Felipe Massa who was fastest this time and Michael Schumacher was third. We shouldn’t set too much store by this but it does at least show that Massa is continuing his run of form.
Second up was Alonso, allowing some hope that the Renaults might be close enough to the Ferraris to give them a run for their money in the race. This is Monza, however, and Ferrari have traditionally done well there, no doubt given extra impetus by the combined wishes of the thousands of tifosi watching the race. I will be very surprised if the Italian team do not win their home Grand Prix.
Robert Kubica is settling in well as a race driver for BMW Sauber, setting fastest lap on the first test day and then crashing the car on the second. The man is a star in the making.
Williams gave themselves some hope by being well up the time sheets in fourth and seventh, while Klien continued his late renaissance to end up fifth. Surely this must make Red Bull wonder whether they made the right decision in taking him out of the team for 2007.
One should not read too much into the times, as I said, but they do help pass the days until the race arrives. And what a race it is; Monza is one of the old circuits and is still capable of showing F1 at its best. Those long straights allow the cars to reach prodigious speeds, there are some very fast and demanding bends, the occasional chicane inserted in modern times, and then there is the Parabolica to slingshot the cars back into the start/finish straight. Definitely one of the races not to be missed.