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Motor racing-Barrichello sets Fiorano track record

MARANELLO, Italy, Dec 6 - Ferrari's new driver Rubens Barrichello set a lap record of one minute 00.712 seconds at the Formula One team's private Fiorano circuit during testing on Monday. The Brazilian replaced Britain's Eddie Irvine at the end of the season and will race alongside Michael Schumacher in next year's world championship.``The previous record was set by Luca Badoer and was 1.00.881,'' said a Ferrari spokeswoman. Schumacher's best time at Fiorano is 1:00.941. Irvine recorded 1:01.219.

Motor racing-Villeneuve gets first outing in BAR-Honda

SILVERSTONE, England, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Canadian Jacques Villeneuve gave the new Honda-engined BAR Formula One car a first test at Silverstone on Tuesday and completed 34 trouble-free laps. Honda said that the first shakedown test of the RA000E V10 Formula One engine, installed in BAR's new chassis for the 2000 season, had exceeded expectations. ``This was the first time that the engine was mounted in the chassis, so our primary aim was to confirm that all systems were operational,'' said Honda's F1 research and design project leader Takefumi Hosaka. ``In addition to the obvious hardware checkpoints, we also used this opportunity to establish an effective working relationship with British American Racing. ``This test was even more successful than expected with 34 trouble-free laps,'' he added after 1997 world champion Villenueve completed the first session. BAR, who did not score any points in a debut season plagued by reliability problems this year, team up with the Japanese engine makers in 2000 for the first time after running with Renault-based Supertec units in 1999.


Irvine tips Michael Schumacher for 2000

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Eddie Irvine has tipped his former Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher as favourite for next year's Formula One title. The northern Irishman, speaking at an awards ceremony on Sunday night, also light-heartedly warned his new Jaguar team bosses, Jackie Stewart and son Paul, that he does not share their tastes in Scottish fashion. Irvine, who won the British Driver of the Year award, told an audience that included world champion Mika Hakkinen and McLaren boss Ron Dennis that the recovering German driver would be hard to beat in 2000. ``There is no doubting Michael's driving talent and he is going to be the one to beat next year,'' said Irvine, runner-up to McLaren's Hakkinen this season. ``The McLaren boys have got the best technical man in the business in Adrian Newey, but they will have to come up with something special to get near Michael. ``McLaren did their best to throw it away last year. That was disappointing for me because going into the last race in Japan I was the leader, but it just didn't happen.'' Hakkinen, who will be gunning for a third title in a row, had a swipe at Irvine in return. ``I am not worried at all about competing against a fit-again Michael Schumacher next year. Although I would rather be racing against Eddie Irvine in the Ferrari,'' he said. Former world champion Schumacher missed six races last season after breaking his leg in a crash at Silverstone in July. He still finished the season in fifth place. Irvine also turned his attention to the tartan uniform worn by the Stewart team last season. ``If Jackie and Paul Stewart think I am going to wear those tartan trousers they insist on wearing then they're mad,'' he declared. ``They would have to pay me another million dollars at least. I really had to check the small print of my contract to make sure I don't have to wear them.''