Juan-Pablo “Monster” Montoya set the best time in a test session at Silverstone on Thursday, before writing off his Williams-BMW in a high-speed smash at Becketts corner.

Juan-Pablo “Monster” Montoya set the best time in a test session at Silverstone on Thursday, before writing off his Williams-BMW in a high-speed smash at Becketts corner.

The Colombian, who had clocked a lap of 1:21,410 earlier in the day, had just started his second flying lap of an afternoon run when he lost control of his car at the exit of the high-speed corner. The car spun and skimmed over a gravel trap before hitting the barrier hard, coming to rest under a heap of tyres. Marshals quickly attended the scene to extract Montoya.

The front of the car was very badly damaged - both wheels and suspension units were ripped off and the front wing was detatched.

Montoya was freed from the car after 10 minutes and he was able to walk away, although he appeared to have a slight limp. He was taken to the medical centre for an examination but he indicated to bystanders that he was fine.

Jordan-Ford’s Ralph Firman set the second best time of the day. The young Briton was working on tyres, aerodynamics and control systems. He was followed by Williams BMW test driver Marc Gene in third and Renault tester Allan McNish, who completed tyre, suspension and set-up tests.

Meanwhile, there were six teams on track at Mugello in Italy. Ferrari set the top two times, Rubens Barrichello setting the quickest of 1:21,667 ahead of test driver Luca Badoer. Each drove an F2003-GA chassis, Barrichello assessing set-up and tyres and Badoer completing a race distance.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest and the team also had tester Pedro de la Rosa present, the Spaniard setting the ninth time of the day. The Toyota duo of Oliver Panis and Cristiano da Matta were fourth and fifth fastest respectively. Panis worked on set-up and tyres and da Matta, on his first time at Mugello in an F1 car, ran a technical programme.

Jaguar's Mark Webber was sixth quickest, working on suspension and aerodynamics and also the launch control system, which let the team down in San Marino. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was on duty for Sauber, verifying wind tunnel aerodynamic data and running tyre tests, and was seventh. BAR was the sixth team present, Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button eighth and tenth respectively.