A great deal of work has been done to the world champion's Arrows-Yamaha since his first grand prix in the car ended with the humiliation of breaking down before he reached the start at the Australian Grand Prix three weeks ago.
The changes included a revised air intake to enhance the engine's breathing and power, modified weight distribution and aerodynamic changes.
In the morning session the gremlins returned. He was forced to spin on to the grass at 120mph to avoid a concrete barrier because his throttle would not close."It's not the sort of thing you need to experience for any reason," he said.
But in the afternoon he elevated himself into the top 10, 1.4sec off the leaders, and kept on track for the top 12 place he predicted his revitalised Arrows team are capable of.
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