Honda quick in Spanish testing

THE Honda F1 prototype arrived at Jerez at the end of last week to run alongside other F1 machinery for the first time and by Friday evening the F1 circus was sitting up and taking notice with Jos Verstappen having set a time which was nearly a second faster than Jacques Villeneuve's BAR.

But while Jos's 1m26.61s may have seemed quick it has to be pointed out that it was nowhere near the best time set at the track by Michael Schumacher in December, the Ferrari driver having recorded a 1m23.86s. Conditions at Jerez can make a big difference in lap times.

The all-white Honda F1 car - which carries only Honda and Bridgestone stickers - completed only 30 laps to set the fastest time of the day while Villeneuve did 36 laps to record his best time of 1m27.55s. Ricardo Zonta was third fastest of the day with a best lap of 1m29.04s but both Benetton and Stewart did only minimal shakedown running after their initial testing at Silverstone was spoiled by torrential rain and mist.

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