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AUGUST 17, 2000

Barrichello on top of the times at Mugello

BRAZILIAN driver Rubens Barrichello topped the times for Ferrari in testing at Mugello on Thursday.

Completing 98 laps, with a best time of one minute 27.227 seconds, Barrichello was working on the set-up of his car in preparation for the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27.

Barrichello said: "We were working for the Spa race, because the characteristics of the Mugello track are very similar to the Belgian circuit.

"In particular we were trying to improve the balance of the car and the engine. I am happy with the progress we made in this area. Once it has been checked by the engineers I hope we will be able to use this engine in Spa."

British American Racing driver Jacques Villeneuve was the second quickest driver with a lap time of one minute 28.409 seconds. Pedro Diniz in the Sauber was fractionally slower in third (1:28.508 seconds).

Ricardo Zonta, who will be released by BAR at the end of the season, was fourth quickest with a time of 1:28.921 seconds.

Sauber test driver Enrique Bernoldi and Minardi test driver Giorgio Vinella propped up the rear of the field with times of 1:29.333 and 1:30.840 respectively.

Times after testing at Mugello on Thursday:

Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:27.227
Jacques Villeneuve BAR 1:28.409
Pedro Diniz Sauber 1:28.508
Ricardo Zonta BAR 1:28.921
Enrique Bernoldi Sauber 1:29.333
Giorgio Vinella Minardi 1:30.840