F1 world championship contender Ralf Schumacher was hospitalised in Milan on Tuesday after his Williams-BMW left the road and somersaulted at Monza’s 240-km/h Lesmo curve.

F1 world championship contender Ralf Schumacher was hospitalised in Milan on Tuesday after his Williams-BMW left the road and somersaulted at Monza’s 240-km/h Lesmo curve.


McLaren-Mercedes’ David Coulthard set the fastest time on what was the opening day of F1 testing at Monza, but the session was disrupted by the German’s accident. Earlier in the day, Ralf had already had an incident when an oil leak caused a fire at the rear of his car.


The Geman was conscious when he arrived at the track's medical centre, but his car came back in a serious state of damage.

Ralf's older brother Michael accompanied him to the San Rafaele hospital in Milan for a check-up, although the Williams-BMW driver was believed to be unhurt in the incident.


"The cause of Ralf’s accident is not yet known but is under investigation," said Tim Newton, Williams-BMW test team manager.


Ralf’s team-mate, Juan-Pablo Montoya, drove long stints in order to evaluate tyre wear in the light of the new tyre rules interpretation imposed by the FIA.


Ferrari's Luca Badoer suffered an engine failure, and Michael Schumacher's day ended early when he had problems with a new braking system installed on the F-2003 GA.


Both Coulthard and McLaren-Mercedes test driver Alexander Wurz continued development on the MP4-17D.


Monza Testing Times:

Pos Driver (Car-Engine) Time Tyres Laps

1 David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes) M 1:22,065s 61

2 Ralf Schumacher (Williams-BMW) M 1:22,416s 62

3 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) B 1:22,532s 30

4 Jenson Button (BAR-Honda) B 1:22,630s 81

5 Alex Wurz (McLaren-Mercedes) M 1:22,630s 73

6 Jacques Villlenuve (BAR-Honda) B 1:22,647s 82

7 Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Sauber-Petronas) B 1:22,651s 69

8 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) B 1:22,753s 65

9 Takuma Sato (BAR-Honda) B 1:23,153s 32

10 Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams-BMW) M 1:23,163s 88


B = Bridgestone

M = Michelin

Original article from Car