Thursday May 31st, 2001
Despite Ralf Schumacher being forced to leave earlier than expected due to illness on Wednesday, the Williams team dominated testing at the Magny-Cours circuit for the third day in a row thanks to their test driver Marc Gene.
The Spaniard took over from Schumacher today and set an impressive best time of 1:14.384, most than a second quicker than yesterday's fastest lap and a new unofficial record at Magny-Cours.
Michael Schumacher, second fastest less than two tenths behind Gene, worked on suspension settings on his F2001, also concentrating on electronics developments. He also carried out tests on tyres.
During the morning session, teammate Rubens Barrichello carried out an endurance test which at the wheel of the F2001, completing a total of 91 laps before leaving Magny-Cours. The Brazilian posted the seventh quickest time.
David Coulthard was again the only driver present for the McLaren team, the Scot setting the third fastest time ahead of the BAR of Frenchman Olivier Panis, who outpaced both the Jordans of Jarno Trulli and test driver Ricardo Zonta.
"Our schedule this week has been very positive," said Panis. "The car felt good and we have been able to continue the programme without any interruptions. We have collected some valuable data and carried out intensive tyre evaluation work."
The Arrows team continued working with both their drivers, Jos Verstappen setting the eighth fastest time while teammate Enrique Bernoldi was tenth. The Brazilian resumed the Bridgestone tyre testing for Canada, while Verstappen, who was hindered by mechanical problems, worked on aerodynamic set-ups.
"I'm reasonably happy with today's work," said Verstappen. "I had a few problems part way through, but nothing too serious. We tried a few different things to improve the car which I hope will help. I think we've learned some useful things for Canada and need to look into that now."
The Jaguar team were unable to continue with their promising form today, and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa was only ninth quickest at the wheel of the first R2. Formula Three star Andrea Lotterer drove the second Jaguar, the German driver being slowest more than a second behind de la Rosa.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:14.384
2. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:14.504
3. Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:14.600
4. Panis BAR-Honda (B) 1:14.708
5. Trulli Jordan-Honda (B) 1:14.869
6. Zonta Jordan-Honda (B) 1:15.168
7. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:15.169
8. Verstappen Arrows-Asiatech (B) 1:15.384
9. de la Rosa Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:15.751
10. Bernoldi Arrows-Asiatech (B) 1:15.880
11. Burti Prost-Acer (M) 1:16.283
12. Button Benetton-Renault (M) 1:16.521
13. Lemarie BAR-Honda (B) 1:16.642
14. Lotterer Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:17.110
All Timing Unofficial