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Atlas F1 News Service
Frentzen Fastest at Valencia Testing - Day One

Wednesday May 24th, 2000

Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen was fastest at the first day of testing at Valencia yesterday.

Frentzen was almost two seconds faster than the rest of the drivers, headed by Enrique Bernoldi in a Sauber.

Frentzen ran a total of 83 laps during the day, worked mainly on set up for the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, as well as tyre evaluation for Bridgestone and the reliability of the latest Mugen Honda engine, despite experiencing clutch problems in the morning.

Sauber gave their test driver Enrique Bernoldi his first 'real' test in this year's C19, having recently conducted straight-line aerodynamic tests with the C19 at the Buochs military airbase in Switzerland. Bernoldi completed 101 laps, working on aerodynamics for Montreal as well as Monaco, as well as tyre evaluation and suspension development.

"Today has been a fabulous chance for me not only to drive a Grand Prix car on a race track, but also to quantify myself against regular F1 drivers on a track on which nobody has any prior experience. I feel tired, having done more than a Grand Prix distance, but also elated. The C19 is very different from my Red Bull F3000 car and requires a lot of concentration, but my confidence grew as the day went on. It's a lot better than straight-line running!" said Bernoldi. Pedro Diniz will test today, with Mika Salo running on Thursday.

Benetton ran Giancarlo Fisichella and Giorgio Pantano yesterday, the latter continuing to be assessed by the team. Fisichella evaluated tyres, engine and chassis set-up for the Monaco Grand Prix, setting the third fastest time, while Pantano learned the car and circuit, suffering only two minor spins and an engine problem. Fisichella and Pantano will continue to test this morning, with Alexander Wurz and Antonio Pizzonia taking over and running until Thursday.

Arrows worked on aerodynamic and chassis set-up with Jos Verstappen today, setting the fifth fastest time, with no problems to report. Verstappen will drive today with Pedro de la Rosa taking over on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Luca Badoer completed 83 laps at Fiorano, with a best lap of 1:02.118 while successfully conducting handling and aerodynamic tests.

Yesterday's times from Valencia:

Pos  Driver        Team                Time    
 1.  Frentzen      Jordan-Mugen Honda  1:15.63 
 2.  Bernoldi      Sauber-Petronas     1:17.51 
 3.  Fisichella    Benetton-Playlife   1:17.96 
 4.  Burti         Jaguar-Cosworth     1:18.17 
 5.  Verstappen    Arrows-Supertec     1:18.24 
 6.  Pantano       Benetton-Playlife   1:19.00 

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