Alexander Wurz fastest at Silverstone

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN started Thursday's testing at Silverstone as the first Indian driver to get behind the wheel of a Formula One car, but ended it in a spin.

Karthikeyan, who drives in the Japanese Formula Nippon Championship, had been promised a test with the Jaguar Racing team for over a year after driving for their Stewart Racing team in the British Formula Three Championship.

His big day arrived on Thursday as he tested at Silverstone but after 10 timed laps his session was over as he spun his car off the track.

There was no damage to car or driver, who enjoyed the day and is planning more tests as his management team try and get him a full-time drive in Formula One for next season.

"It's been pretty good," said Karthikeyan. "I'm happy with the day. I did 10 laps, but that's not enough to know much. But that's Formula One.

"It means a lot to me but I knew it was always going to come. For sure there will be more to come now.

"Hopefully I will be full-time soon in F1. Maybe next year, but I don't know. I want a full-time drive and not a test-drive and we are working on something.

"My management are talking to several teams and there is a 50/50 chance that I'll be in F1 next year."

McLaren test-driver Alexander Wurz topped the times on the final day of testing at Silverstone this week as he beat team-mate Mika Hakkinen into second place.

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was third, fractionally ahead of his team-mate and reigning World Champion Michael Schumacher, who spun at the end of the morning session.

As 19 drivers took to the Northamptonshire circuit there were several stoppages with drivers breaking down on track with engine or mechanical problems.

Jaguar's Pedro de la Rosa was delayed in the morning after the engine in his car blew, while Benetton test-driver Mark Webber, Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya and British American Racing's Olivier Panis all had to be towed back after breaking down on track.

The Benettons of Webber and Giancarlo Fisichella seemed to be suffering all day with the two drivers propping up the times at the bottom of the list.

SILVERSTONE TEST - THURSDAY, 14 JUNE 2001

POS

DRIVER ENTRANT TIME

1.

ALEXANDER WURZ McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.081

2.

MIKA HAKKINEN McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.614

3.

RUBENS BARRICHELLO Ferrari 1:22.718

4.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1:23.142

5.

RICARDO ZONTA Jordan-Honda 1:23.177

6.

KIMI RAIKKONEN Sauber-Petronas 1:23.435

7.

OLIVIER PANIS BAR-Honda 1:23.811

8.

JOS VERSTAPPEN Arrows-Asiatech 1:24.035

9.

JARNO TRULLI Jordan-Honda 1:24.180

10.

JACQUES VILLENEUVE BAR-Honda 1:24.253

11.

PEDRO DE LA ROSA Jaguar 1:24.304

12.

RALF SCHUMACHER Williams-BMW 1:24.386

13.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA Williams-BMW 1:24.431

14.

JEAN ALESI Prost-Acer 1:25.179

15.

ENRIQUE BERNOLDI Arrows-Asiatech 1:25.258

16.

LUCIANO BURTI Prost-Acer 1:25.432

17.

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Jaguar 1:26.139

18.

MARK WEBBER Benetton-Renault 1:26.355

19.

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA Benetton-Renault 1:26.617

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