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Atlas F1 News Service

Coulthard Fastest at Magny-Cours Testing - Day One

Thursday June 22nd, 2000

David Coulthard was fastest in testing at Magny-Cours yesterday.

Coulthard just edged out McLaren test driver Olivier Panis for fastest time of the day, ahead of a closely bunched group of cars.

Third and fourth fastest were the Ferrari drivers Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher. Both drivers worked on set-ups for the upcoming French Grand Prix at this track, Schumacher also working on aerodynamics on his F1-2000. Schumacher's day was cut short after an anamoly appeared on the telemetry for the engine and the team decided to call him in. Rubens commented yesterday about the weather: "Having come from the United States, where it was very hot, the 60 degree track temperature here in Magny Cours did not bother me. Tomorrow, I will continue to work on set up. I hope it will be in the dry, because I gather the weather forecast is predicting rain." Both drivers will continue testing today.

Arrows driver Jos Verstappen was a creditable seventh fastest before he suffered a mechanical problem, resulting in a big accident at turn 2. Verstappen walked away relatively unharmed, apart from a stiff neck. The cause of the accident is unknown, although testing will resume depending on the team's findings. Pedro de la Rosa will take over while Verstappen takes a break to allow his neck to recover.

Benetton had two drivers at the test, with regular driver Alexander Wurz joined by Antonio Pizzonia. Wurz worked on set-up and tyre evaluation, as well as weight distribution, while Pizzonia spent time learning the circuit before an engine problem halted his running. After the engine was replaced, Pizzonia also worked on set-up and tyre evaluation. Fisichella will take over from Pizzonia for today and tomorrow's testing.

Yesterday's times:

Pos  Driver        Team                Time      Laps 
 1.  Coulthard     McLaren-Mercedes    1:16.685  74
 2.  Panis         McLaren-Mercedes    1:16.885  44
 3.  Barrichello   Ferrari             1:17.182  26
 4.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari             1:17.334  29
 5.  Diniz         Sauber-Petronas     1:17.555  68
 6.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda  1:17.588  69
 7.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec     1:17.790  32
 8.  Wurz          Benetton-Playlife   1:17.804  49
 9.  Alesi         Prost-Peugeot       1:17.973  34
10.  Heidfeld      Prost-Peugeot       1:18.015  47
11.  Button        Williams-BMW        1:18.154  68
12.  Burti         Jaguar-Cosworth     1:18.599  60
13.  Zonta         BAR-Honda           1:19.219  36
14.  Pizzonia      Benetton-Playlife   1:19.741  54

1999 fastest testing time: E. Irvine (Ferrari) 1:15.876