July 14th, 2002

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Allan McNish fastest!

AM ToyotaThe Toyota duo of Mika Salo and Allan McNish were in action again at Monza on Friday for the final day of this week's four-day test at the Italian track.

According to a press release, Salo finished his testing programme and also managed to carry out a Michelin tyre test. McNish was able to work on brakes and data acquisition despite an engine failure in the afternoon session.

"Things were quite good today," said Salo, who was fourth fastest. "The only major problem we had was with an internal breakage of the differential.

"Because of this we had to change the rear end of the car, but we managed to complete general suspension work as well as a tyre compound test for Michelin, completing a reasonable number of laps in the process."

Meanwhile, McNish had a slightly more problematic day as he completed just 21 laps. Nevertheless, the Scot still set the fastest time of the session.

"Today was purely and simply about collecting data, not necessarily for the Monza Grand Prix and certainly not about performance," he said.

"I didn't do too many laps and had an engine failure in the afternoon. Monza is particularly hard on engines due to the high number of wide open throttle straights. The exact cause of the failure has to be determined back in Cologne."

From Italy Toyota head to France for Round eleven of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship™, which takes place in Magny-Cours next weekend.
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And another year... 28

Renault driver Jarno Trulli celebrates his 28th birthday today (Saturday). The Italian is enjoying a mixed season, having scored just four points from ten starts, six less than team mate Jenson Button.

Trulli is struggling to throw off his reputation as a stronger qualifier than race finisher, with several technical failures not helping. He has out-qualified Button seven times this year, but scored just two top-six results to his team mate's four.

Jarno TrulliTrulli made his Grand Prix debut for Minardi in Australia back in 1997, before moving to Prost the same year to replace the injured Olivier Panis. He took his first point in Belgium the following season and then his best result to date, a second place in the European Grand Prix.

A move to Jordan for 2000 promised much but brought little in the way of results thanks largely to poor reliability. However, he did at least qualify on the front row twice, in Monaco and Belgium, proving his pace against more experienced team mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

The 2001 Jordan was again disappointing, but it did allow Trulli to rack up twelve points, taking him to ninth in the rankings, his best championship finish to date.

Despite a mixed opening half to his first season with Renault, Trulli could yet better that performance. The R202 has been the 'best of the rest' at most races behind the Ferraris, Williams and McLarens and further top six finishes must surely be on the cards.
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