Gaston Mazzacane's debut appearance with the Arrows team proved to be something of a brief encounter, with the Argentine completing just a handful of wet laps at Silverstone.

Running with the Leafield outfit for the first time since apparently leaving Minardi, Mazzacane was one of the few to venture out when the track was at its wettest. His eagerness to get on with the job was explained, however, when Arrows subsequently packed up before lunch and returned to base in preparation for the trip to Jerez for next week's test.

Just nine laps were credited to the Argentine, who is tipped to join Arrows on a full time test contract next season, but the team claimed to have completed its programme of checks and was satisfied with the results it had obtained in the short space of time. The test was also the first outing for the Peugeot-based AMT engine since the end of the regular season.

"We had a very good shakedown, and achieved all of our targets," confirmed test team engineer Greg Wheeler, "Gaston adapted to the car surprisingly quickly, and we tested out various different system settings and got good results from those.

"The engine performed well, although the conditions were very difficult with it being so wet, but we had no dramas, and the team can feel proud of itself for these developments. The car is showing to have very good reliability and the components are working well together. If we continue with this then we can look forward to a very successful test programme and gaining a lot of valuable information for next year's car."

Arrows' presence at the one-off test was only confirmed late in the day, with Mazzacane's role behind the wheel even more of a surprise. The argentine had been rumoured to be talking with the team - as he is also supposed to be talking to Prost - but an appearance as early as this had not been expected.

"Gaston came for a seat fitting at the factory last week, but the feeling of a seat fitting can be quite different from actually driving the car on the track," Wheeler pointed out, "We had to do a shakedown, so this was an ideal time for him to try out his seat and pedals in real life conditions."

Mazzacane is expected to join Arrows' drivers Jos Verstappen and Pedro de la Rosa at one of the Spanish tests later in the month but, with the Dutchman and Spaniard appearing on the FIA entry list issued while today's test was in progress, it appears his role in the team will be confined to that of reserve driver in 2001.