Alesi fastest in France

IT was tight at the top in testing at Magny-Cours on Wednesday as Prost's Jean Alesi headed the times just 0.001 seconds faster than Sauber youngster Kimi Raikkonen.

Rain hampered the day at the French circuit but it did give the teams a chance to achieve some wet-track evaluation, and Raikkonen was, as always, happy to learn.

"I learned a lot about traction control and was also able to gain more experience of the value of the rain tires in varying conditions," said Raikkonen. "We had a useful day."

The Williams pair of Juan Pablo Montoya and test driver Marc Gene were further back, but pleased to put in more wet tire development for new tire manufacturer Michelin.

"We tested on wet tire testing on both cars, and software work such as launch control and traction control," said Williams chief operations engineer Sam Michael.

Arrows' Jos Verstappen was the slowest man in the wet, and all teams will be hoping for dry weather to continue the test.

MAGNY-COURS TEST - WEDNESDAY, 4 APRIL 2001

POS

DRIVER ENTRANT TIME

1.

JEAN ALESI Prost-Acer 1:23.710

2.

KIMI RAIKKONEN Sauber-Petronas 1:23.711

3.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA Williams-BMW 1:25.021

4.

MARC GENE Williams-BMW 1:26.175

5.

JOS VERSTAPPEN Arrows-Asiatech 1:27.514

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