Alonso looks set for Monaco cruise

Thu, 18 May 2006, 09:29

Championship leader Fernando Alonso ensured that he remains a favourite to win next Sunday’s Monaco grand prix by again going quickest at a test in France.

The Spaniard, narrowly trailed by Renault test cohort Heikki Kovalainen, topped the field of seven teams and twelve drivers as they ran on a Monte Carlo-like configuration at Paul Ricard.

”We are very satisfied and confident,” Renault’s chief test engineer Christian Silk remarked late on Wednesday.

In order of lap time, runners for BMW-Sauber, Red Bull, Toyota, Ferrari, McLaren and Toro Rosso – all of them Alonso’s race rivals – also circulated at the venue.

A Toyota statement confirmed that the ‘B’ car, in the hands of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher in France, ‘will debut’ in Monte Carlo.

For Thursday, Paul Ricard will be modified to simulate a Canada-like track configuration.

At Fiorano near the team’s Maranello factory, meanwhile, a second Ferrari test team continued to field a ‘248’ car as Michael Schumacher got into action.

Also in Italy, near Rome, Jenson Button topped the times for Honda, while Williams’ Mark Webber also joined in.

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