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JANUARY 30, 2001

Alesi blasts Barcelona circuit lap record

FRENCHMAN Jean Alesi blasted the lap record at the Circuit de Catalunya as he demonstrated the potential of Prost's new Ferrari-powered AP04.

Alesi, who completed 95 laps of the Barcelona circuit, topped the times on the tenth consecutive day of running as he took almost 0.6 seconds off Jarno Trulli's fastest lap time set in December.

Alesi's fastest lap of one minute and 18.973 seconds was almost a second quicker than nearest rival Giancarlo Fisichella, who ran 113 laps in last year's B200.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was third quickest in BMW-Williams' FW22 hybrid ahead of the man he replaced at the Grove-based team, Jenson Button, as the British driver continued his Formula One education with Benetton.

Dutchman Jos Verstappen was back behind the wheel of his Arrows after replacing Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi, but the Bridgestone-shod driver could only post the fifth quickest time.

Ralf Schumacher completed 43 laps in BMW-Williams' new FW23 car after he caused the session to be red flagged because of a mechanical failure which left him stranded on the track.

Jaguar's Luciano Burti and tester Tomas Scheckter were off the pace as they ended seventh and eighth respectively.

Times from Tuesday's testing at Barcelona:

Jean Alesi Prost 1:18.973
Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton 1:19.859
Juan Pablo Montoya BMW-Williams 1:20.418
Jenson Button Benetton 1:20.899
Jos Verstappen Arrows 1:21.246
Ralf Schumacher BMW-Williams 1:21.455
Luciano Burti Jaguar 1:22.727
Tomas Scheckter Jaguar 1:24.842