Ferrari number one Michael Schumacher was back on track at Jerez today, following the 'greatest day' of his career at the Italian GP on Sunday - and the German was easily quickest.

Schumacher completed 100 laps in total, as the Scuderia continued its preparation for the final two decisive grands prix - his programme focusing on set-up work and Bridgestone tyre development.

The German's best lap was a 1min 19.265secs, almost a second up on his fellow countryman, Nick Heidfeld, in the Sauber-Petronas C22.

Heidfeld's day was spent working on set-up for Suzuka as well as evaluating new suspension components for this season and 2004.

Toytoa's third driver, Ricardo Zonta was the only other runner as the three top teams opted to test apart from one another.

The Brazilian completed 75 laps, his best a 1min 21.110secs effort that left him almost a second adrift of Heidfeld. Although the opening session was spent re-acquainting himself with the Spanish circuit, Zonta was then able to concentrate on car set-up and more long-term development work.

Testing continues tomorrow [Wednesday].

Leading times (16 September) - Jerez:

1. Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1m 19.265s 100 laps B
2. Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas 1m 20.211s 62 laps B
3. Ricardo Zonta Toyota 1m 21.110s 75 laps M

M - denotes Michelin tyres
B - denotes Bridgestone tyres

Weather / track conditions: Sunny and hot.



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