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Ferrari V10 beats Fiorano lap record

NICOLA LARINI last week broke the outright lap record at Ferrari's testing facility at Fiorano, Italy, using the brand new Ferrari V10 engine. The Italian set a time of 1m02.81s, just a fraction faster than Jean Alesi's V12 record.

It is traditional for Ferrari's new drivers and new machinery to set competitive times in testing at the track, but our sources insist that the times are real and that will be a big boost for Ferrari, which has struggled to be competitive this year with the V12 engine.

The V10 engine is only being tested by Larini at the moment because, with race drivers Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi moving to Benetton-Renault next year, Ferrari engineers do not want them taking too much information with them.

Larini will continue to do all the testing until Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine become available. Traditionally, drivers are not allowed to test for their new teams until the end of the calendar year, and it is hard to imagine that Benetton's Flavio Briatore will be too keen to let Schumacher get thousands of miles of Ferrari testing under his belt - unless, of course, Briatore wants Ferrari to release his two drivers to begin testing.

In the meantime Larini is scheduled to run the V10 at Mugello this week; and Monza at the end of the month. Ferrari is also booked to test at Estoril between November 20-24 and December 12-15, with a further big test at Barcelona between December 19-22.

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