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JANUARY 29, 2001

Bernoldi presses Arrows claims as Montoya goes quickest

BRAZILIAN driver Enrique Bernoldi pressed his claims for a drive with Arrows after he produced an impressive performance in the ninth consecutive day of testing in Barcelona on Monday.

The former Sauber test driver ran 45 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya as part of Arrows' driver evaluation program and was fourth quickest in the times, which was topped by BMW-Williams new-boy Juan Pablo Montoya.

Bernoldi took part in a two-part test as he tried out the new A22 chassis as well as work on Bridgestone tires in last season's A21 car.

Colombian Montoya's fastest lap time of one minute and 20.898 seconds was over half-a-second quicker than Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella, while Briton Eddie Irvine was third quickest in the Jaguar R2.

"I didn't do many laps today," Montoya said. "But the few I did showed that we have made improvements with the set-up compared to yesterday. I hope to build on it."

Briton Jenson Button was marginally slower than Bernoldi with Ralf Schumacher sixth quickest on his first day in the new FW23.

Luciano Burti was seventh fastest of the eight drivers while Prost's Gaston Mazzacane was slowest as he continues to put the new AP04 car through its paces.

Testing times at Barcelona on Monday:

Juan Pablo Montoya BMW-Williams 1:20.898
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton 1:21.504
Eddie Irvine Jaguar 1:21.871
Enrique Bernoldi Arrows 1:22.469
Jenson Button Benetton 1:22.529
Ralf Schumacher BMW-Williams 1:23.211
Luciano Burti Jaguar 1:23.554
Gaston Mazzacane Prost 1:24.451