Bernoldi the star on opening day at Estoril

FEBRUARY 7, 2001

Bernoldi the star on opening day at Estoril

ARROWS new-boy Enrique Bernoldi underlined his growing reputation when he topped the times on the opening day of testing at Estoril, Portugal, on Wednesday.

Brazilian Bernoldi was almost 1.5 seconds quicker than nearest rival Jean Alesi, of Prost, with a best time of one minute and 22.997 seconds as he completed 59 laps as his Formula One education continued in style.

Alesi rolled-out in the AP04 as work on the new Ferrari-powered car continued. He completed 60 laps with a quickest lap of one minute 24.484 seconds.

Bernoldi's Arrows team-mate Jos Verstappen was third quickest of the four drivers after he completed 40 laps while Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella was the slowest.

Italian Fisichella ran 66 laps in the B201, which made its track debut, and reported no problems with the teams new Renault engine.

Technical director Mike Gascoyne: "We are very pleased with today's running. We have made progress each day we have run the new car and we are on target with the development program, so things are looking positive."

Times from Wednesday's testing at Estoril:

Enrique Bernoldi Arrows 1:22.997
Jean Alesi Prost 1:24.484
Jos Verstappen Arrows 1:24.568
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton 1:24.585