- Auto Racing - Panis logs Thursday's best test time

Thursday, February 1
Panis logs Thursday's best test time

BARCELONA -- Olivier Panis returned to testing for British American Racing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday and set the quickest lap time of the day.

Frenchman Panis, who joined BAR from McLaren in the close season, completed 72 laps with a best lap of one minute 19.764 seconds.

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was second-quickest as he worked on the team's new Bridgestone tires. The Brazilian driver recorded a best lap of 1:20.282.

Italian Jarno Trulli was third, fractionally ahead of Sauber drivers Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Raikkonen.

Enrique Bernoldi made his debut as an official Arrows driver and showed his potential by beating Jacques Villeneuve's BAR, Juan Pablo Montoya in a Williams and Giancarlo Fisichella for Benetton.

Montoya drove in the new Williams FW23 car for the first time and, despite some problems with the V10 BMW engine, enjoyed the experience.

"The car felt really good," Montoya said. "I spent the day doing some setup work but my running was limited as I was stopped by some minor engine problems."

Fisichella drove Benetton's new B201 car for the first time in the afternoon after setting his best time in last year's B200 in the morning.

The B201 was livery free as the team will launch their new car on February 6 in Venice.


1. Olivier Panis (France) BAR 1:19.764

2. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Ferrari 1:20.282

3. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Jordan 1:20.389

4. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Sauber 1:20.429

5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Sauber 1:20.719

6. Enrique Bernoldi (Brazil) Arrows 1:21.001

7. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BAR 1:21.175

8. Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia) Williams 1:21.601

9. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Benetton 1:21.689

10. Jenson Button (Britain) Benetton 1:22.354


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