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Prost's first serious test

ALAIN PROST did his first serious laps for McLaren at Silverstone last week and emerged second fastest in the F1 test, albeit 3.3secs a lap slower than Damon Hill's best.

The Frenchman continued to play down suggestions that he is planning to race for McLaren next year. "This is not a test for me to make a decision," he told journalists. "I am trying to help them and also getting to know the car and the team again. If I wanted to make decisions whether to race I would run much longer and do long distance tests."

The 40-year-old, who won three of his four World Championships with McLaren, is not likely to make a decision about racing until he has tried the 1996 McLaren-Mercedes package. In the meantime it is expected that McLaren will announce Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard as its drivers for next year at the European GP at the Nurburgring in two weeks. Prost will probably be nominated as test and reserve driver alongside Dane Jan Magnussen.

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