Honda third driver, Anthony Davidson set the pace on Tuesday, as the latest round of F1 testing began at the Vallelunga circuit on the outskirts of Rome.

Davidson completed 120 laps and the Englishman was the only driver to break the 1 minute 13 second bracket, his best a 1m 12.804s, around two tenths up on Marc Gene who was 'best of the rest'.

Davidson, like fellow Honda tester, James Rossiter spent the day working on a tyre test programme with Michelin, as well as completing chassis set-up work ahead of the forthcoming European races - principally the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in two weeks time.

Ferrari test drivers, Marc Gene and Luca Badoer were also concentrating on the upcoming races, the former managing 110 laps in the F2004, while focusing on Bridgestone tyre development.

Badoer meanwhile ran in the 248 F1, notching up the most laps of any one driver, 150, although he was slowest, three tenths behind Rossiter. The Italian was concentrating on the development of Ferrari's V8 engine as well as running with some new components.

Badoer will be joined on Wednesday by Michael Schumacher, while Rossiter will hand over to Jenson Button. Williams are also due on track tomorrow - Alex Wurz scheduled to run for two-days with the Cosworth powered FW28.

A second group test will also begin at the Paul Ricard circuit in France on Wednesday, where McLaren-Mercedes, Toyota, Renault, BMW Sauber and Red Bull Racing are due to run for three-days, although the latter outfit may opt to run their usual two-day programme.

Leading times (April 4) - Vallelunga:

Anthony Davidson Honda-Honda 1min 12.804secs 120 laps MMarc Gene Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 13.052seecs 150 laps BJames Rossiter Honda-Honda 1min 13.081secs 132 laps MLuca Badoer Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 13.388secs 113 laps B

B denotes Bridgestone tyres / M denotes Michelin tyres

Track conditions: Dry and fine.

all times unofficial