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FEBRUARY 19, 2001

Barrichello breaks lap record at Mugello

RUBENS BARRICHELLO broke the Mugello lap record on Monday as he completed his last test before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Brazilian Barrichello beat Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld's lap record, set on Sunday, by over one second in his last day of preparation for the Australian Grand Prix on March 4 and said he expected to go quick.

"This was my last day of testing before the Australian Grand Prix," said Barrichello, who set the new record with a lap time of one minute and 22.139 as he completed 43 laps.

"My lap time? I am not surprised, but I am certainly happy with the work we have done so far."

German Schumacher was less than 0.8 seconds behind despite running just 19 laps and he backed Barrichello's praise of the new F2001.

Schumacher said: "Today's times confirm that the car is very quick. Right from the start, I have had a positive feeling about the car and that continues to be the case with every day that passes."

Both drivers worked on set-up and aerodynamics. Schumacher will continue testing on Tuesday.