Atlas F1 News Service

Gene Fastest at Magny Cours - Day One

Tuesday April 3rd, 2001

Only two days after competing at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Formula One teams got back to action on Tuesday as they began testing in preparation for the upcoming San Marino Grand Prix at Imola next week.

The Williams, Sauber, Arrows and Prost teams were present at the French Magny Cours circuit today, where Spaniard Marc Gene set the fastest time of the day at the wheel of the BMW-powered Williams FW22. The team's test driver was the busiest man today, completing a total of 88 laps.

Due to a night of heavy rain, the first part of the session took place on a damp track, but the circuit dried up by late morning, when drivers could run with dry weather tyres.

Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest, seven tenths of a second behind Gene, the Finn driving at the French circuit for the first time.

"I felt a little bit tired today; I guess I know what travelling is all about after my first three Grands Prix," said Raikkonen. "But it didn't affect my driving, and I really enjoyed learning the track. It's smooth and challenging, and suits our car quite well."

Arrows' test driver Johnny Herbert was third driving the old A21 chassis during the morning and this year's A22 during the afternoon. The Brit completed 74 laps despite losing some time after spinning off the track.

Gaston Mazzacane set the slowest time of the day at the wheel of the Prost after 47 laps.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time   
 1.  Gene          Williams-BMW        (M)    1:15.960
 2.  Raikkonen     Sauber-Petronas     (B)    1:16.647
 3.  Herbert       Arrows-Asiatech     (B)    1:16.766
 4.  Mazzacane     Prost-Acer          (M)    1:17.739

All Timing Unofficial

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