Alex Zanardi eventually got his hands on the Williams FW20 at the Circuit Catalunya near Barcelona this morning. By the end of the day he had adapted well to the semi-automatic gearbox and the technique of left foot braking which is required in the F1 cars of today.

Alex set a respectable time of 1.25.98 on his first day in the car, which put him fifth quickest but tomorrow is another day and he will be pushing hard on Wednesday before he heads back to the USA for the next round of the CART ChampCar series which is to be held on the streets of Houston for the first time next weekend.

Alex said, (It is certainly different from the Formula One that I left in 1994. It is a completely different car from what I am used to driving in the United States. It will take time for me to get used to ceretain things like the semi-automatic gearbox, the left foot braking and the grooved tyres but I have a good team behind me. Everybody was very nice to me today and they seem to be pretty patient).


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