McLaren bounced back from its Silverstone disappointment by topping the time on the opening days of testing in Italy.

Mika Hakkinen - relegated to second at Silverstone after an off - finished the first day at the head of the timesheets, separated from team-mate David Coulthard by the Williams of Jacques Villeneuve. Day two saw the Finn fall behind Coulthard into second position as the silver cars moved to ahead of their rivals.

Villeneuve continued Williams' improved showing by recording a time just one-tenth behind Hakkinen on day one, before handing over to team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen and test pilot Juan Pablo Montoya. The German then recorded fourth best time on day two.

Arrows and Jordan both enjoyed good performances, with Mika Salo recording fourth best time on day one and Ralf Schumacher taking fifth on day two, just ahead of Sauber's Johnny Herbert. Eddie Irvine was the only Ferrari driver present and continued to hound the McLaren's in fifth and third places respectively over the two days.

Leading times (days one and two combined):

Coulthard McLaren 1min 23.26secs (Wed)
Hakkinen McLaren 1min 24.03secs (Wed)
Irvine Ferrari 1min 24.95secs (Wed)
Frentzen Williams 1min 25.00secs (Wed)
Schumacher Jordan 1min 25.26secs (Wed)
Herbert Sauber 1min 25.27secs (Wed)
Villeneuve Williams 1min 25.56secs (Tue)
Barrichello Stewart 1min 25.82secs (Wed)
Hill Jordan 1min 25.94secs (Wed)
Trulli Prost 1min 26.02secs (Wed)
Panis Prost 1min 26.07secs (Wed)
Salo Arrows 1min 26.09secs (Tue)
Wurz Benetton 1min 26.22secs (Wed)
Montoya Williams 1min 26.58secs (Wed)
Fisichella Benetton 1min 26.60secs (Wed)
Diniz Arrows 1min 26.74secs (Wed)
Tuero Minardi 1min 27.19secs (Wed)
de la Rosa Jordan 1min 28.71secs (Tue)


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