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Burti and Jaguar impress each other

LUCIANO BURTI'S plans to take the Jaguar seat soon to be vacated by Johnny Herbert have received a further boost with a competitive performance in recent testing.

The 25 year-old Brazilian, who is Jaguar's official test driver, was pleased with his performance at Silverstone this week.

"The test was good, not just for people to see my speed, but also my feedback on the car."

Burti was well on the pace, and ran within 0.1 seconds of team driver Eddie Irvine around the Silverstone circuit - despite having a heavier fuel load.

Burti clocked up some essential Grand Prix experience by racing for the team as a stand in for an ill Irvine at the Austrian Grand Prix. He finished in eleventh place, impressing the team in the process, and has since undertaken regular testing with the team.

At the A1-Ring, he had never run the car in qualifying trim, but with such regular testing, Burti has now been able to learn the characteristics of the Jaguar in all different configurations. His knowledge of the car sets him up as the most likely candidate to line up alongside Irvine next year.

While Burti has impressed the team so far, the developments on the Jaguar have also been noted by their tester. After new aerodynamic modifications to the R1, he said, "I'm getting used to the car... although it's still quite difficult to drive. But it's getting much better and the new floor is a definite improvement."

Burti will test next at Monza in the week after the Belgian Grand Prix. With the driver market rapidly moving, he thinks he has impressed enough to get the drive, and admits, "I don't know what else to do."

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