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JUNE 9, 1997

Magny-Cours testing

MOST of the F1 teams were at Magny-Cours last week and it was Benetton's Jean Alesi who ended up setting the pace with a best lap of 1m15.09s. The Frenchman completed a total of only 84 laps in the three days testing a revised rear suspension package. Jean spun off shortly after setting his best time.

The team continued to work with test driver Alexander Wurz - Gerhard Berger being out of action - and he completed 115 laps with a best of 1m16.26s.

Second quickest of the test was Giancarlo Fisichella in his Jordan-Peugeot who completed 106 laps over two days to record a best of 1m15.22s before handing over to Ralf Schumacher. The German did two full days as well, completing 93 laps with a best of 1m15.78s.

Olivier Panis was third quickest for the home team Prost Grand Prix. Olivier ran for three days, completing 132 laps with a best lap of 1m15.34s on the final day of the test.

Williams was doing Goodyear tire testing work and set-ups for the French GP and did not go for any really quick times. On this occasion Heinz-Harald Frentzen was the faster of the two drivers. He completed 125 laps over the three days, recording a best of 1m15.53s while Jacques Villeneuve did 185 laps with a best of 1m15.76s.

McLaren had two MP4-12s in action for two days doing race distance work with the new Mercedes V10 engine. MikaƊHakkinen was the faster of the two drivers with a best of 1m16.59s after 110 laps while David Coulthard spun off and hurt his back on the first day of the test and completed only 44 laps with a best of 1m16.92s. The team is expected to use the new engine for qualifying in Montreal but it is still too new to be raced.

Minardi did one day of testing with Jarno Trulli completing 38 laps with a best of 1m18.67s, while Arrows turned up on the final day of the test and ran Pedro Diniz for 40 laps, testing the latest Yamaha engine. The team had spent two days at Lurcy-Levis doing aerodynamic mapping work with test driver Jorg Muller.

Ferrari and Sauber were at Monza with Johnny Herbert trying new wings and gearbox modifications to beat the best Ferrari times on both days of the test. Eddie Irvine tried the new Ferrari engine and active diff but could not match Herbert's Sauber.

At Mugello Ferrari test driver Nicola Larini shook down the three Montreal cars.

Stewart Grand Prix did not test but a chassis was sent to the Ford Advanced Engineering facility in Dearborn, Michigan, where it was run on the high-technology testing rigs.