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Benetton quick at Silverstone

BENETTON topped the time sheets during last week's Formula 1 testing at Silverstone with Gerhard Berger setting a fastest lap of 1m22.29s during his two days of engine testing for Renault. The Austrian completed 60 laps over one and a half days but was unable to complete a planned race distance because of a water leak. Also quick was test driver AlexanderÊWurz, who ran on all three days, completing 120 laps with a best lap of 1m23.18s. Jean Alesi took over from Berger at lunch time on Wednesday but had engine problems as well and completed only 27 laps in a day and a half with a best of 1m24.67s.

Mika Hakkinen was the second fastest of the test, setting a best lap of 1m22.66s while competing 100 laps using both the 1997 and 1998 cars. David Coulthard also used both cars, running 90 laps over the two days with a best lap of 1m24.46s. The team's test driver Nick Heidfeld ran on the first day of the test in a 1997 car, setting a best lap of 1m25.00s.

Williams had two 1997 cars in action and test driver Jean-Christophe Boullion was in action on all three days, completing 100 laps with a best lap of 1m24.09s. Jacques Villeneuve did only the first day of the test, completing 50 laps with a best of 1m24.17s before packing up and going off to Canada for a few days. Heinz-Harald Frentzen took over and ran 70 laps over two days, setting a best lap of 1m23.06s.

Jordan did just one day of the test with Ralf Schumacher trying new bodywork but being delayed by a gearbox failure. He completed only 31 laps for a best lap of 1m24.59s.

Arrows ran on all three days with Martin Brundle doing the first before Pedro Diniz took over. The Brazilian had a number of engine problems but recorded 70 laps with a best of 1m24.64s.

Stewart ran for two days with Barrichello doing over 100 laps for a best time of 1m24.83s and Jan Magnussen doing one day and 40 laps with a best of 1m25.24s.

The Tyrrell team showed up for a single day of running with Mika Salo completing 54 laps with a best of 1m26.78s.

Ferrari ran at Mugello with Eddie Irvine doing most of the work, Michael Schumacher taking a day off because he was feeling under the weather. Eddie did over 100 laps of the track trying out modifications to the Ferrari electronics while Michael was back in action on Friday and did 54 laps of the track.

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