Button fastest in San Marino GP last practice

Button fastest in San Marino GP last practice

BAR's Jenson Button was the quickest man in Saturday morning practices at Imola, setting a best time of 1:20.058 in the second session. Renault's Fernando Alonso was second and the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen was third. Michael Schumacher set the...

BAR's Jenson Button was the quickest man in Saturday morning practices at Imola, setting a best time of 1:20.058 in the second session. Renault's Fernando Alonso was second and the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen was third. Michael Schumacher set the best time for Ferrari in the first session.

Jenson Button.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Track temperature was a cool 15 degrees as Red Bull's Tonio Liuzzi led out for the installation laps and set the first time of 1:31.359. He soon bought it down to 1:27.566 but it was well off the times of yesterday's sessions. After a quiet first 20 minutes Liuzzi came out for another go and clocked 1:26.584 and Rubens Barrichello slotted his Ferrari in behind. Minardi's Christijan Albers followed into third.

Liuzzi improved again, marginally, then Barrichello moved ahead with a 1:24.839. Jordan's Tiago Monteiro joined the action, as did Red Bull's David Coulthard in fourth and third respectively. Coulthard improved to second but Monteiro took the position, three tenths down on Barrichello. Liuzzi bettered his time but stayed fourth, then Michael took over the top with a much more reasonable 1:21.520.

Barrichello went second and Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan third, while the second Minardi of Patrick Friesacher joined in seventh. Alex Wurz put his McLaren third on his first effort and Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve took ninth. Liuzzi moved up behind the lead Ferrari but he and everyone else were over two seconds from Michael. Barrichello took the position off him and he in turn ceded it to Sauber's Felipe Massa.

Raikkonen started with third but lost it to Liuzzi and further down the field Button, Toyota's Jarno Trulli and the Williams of Nick Heidfeld made it onto the time sheet. Heidfeld's teammate Mark Webber posted seventh and BAR's Takuma Sato managed 15th. Heidfeld improved to take the seventh position off Webber but then Webber went up to third.

Raikkonen took the place and Ralf Schumacher clocked 11th in the second Toyota, while Barrichello was next to take second, lowering the gap to Michael to 1.3. Giancarlo Fisichella was the first Renault out and posted sixth and Ralf moved up to eighth. Michael improved his top time to 1:21.356 and Barrichello and Massa remained second and third at the end of the session.

Liuzzi was again the first man out in the second session and clocked 1:24.628 to start with. He bought it down to 1:23.789 and Button slotted into second, the Sato took the top with a 1:23.541. Villeneuve arrived in third and Wurz went to the top on his first effort, 1:23.126. Sato immediately retaliated with 1:23.005 and Trulli posted sixth. Ralf took third and Fisichella sixth, while Sato improved to 1:22.332.

Fisichella went up to second, two tenths off Sato, and Raikkonen and Michael joined further down the field. Coulthard took fifth behind Ralf, then Michael took the top with a 1:21.326, Raikkonen following into second. Monteiro went off track at Acqua Minerali and Massa took fourth on his first flyer. Barrichello started with 12th and Button with sixth, while Massa moved up to second.

Barrichello improved to fourth, then again to take the top of the times, 1:21.289. Liuzzi climbed to fifth and Renault's Fernando Alonso finally appeared in third. Villeneuve put in a good effort for third and Fisichella went up to fifth, while Raikkonen put in a 1:20.209 for the top, faster than the best time on Friday. Wurz followed his teammate and took second, just a tenth behind, and Ralf moved up to third.

Michael improved his time but stayed fourth and Button shot to the top, 1:20.058. Trulli clocked sixth while Massa improved to fifth after being shuffled down the order, and Barrichello did likewise to seventh. Michael went up one to third, Sato climbed to fifth and Fisichella to fourth but Barrichello had a brief trip into the gravel. Alonso was not putting many laps in but he went second, five hundredths off Button.

In the closing minutes Heidfeld improved to seventh, then teammate Webber took the position off him but that was the end of the session. Minardi did not put in any timed laps in the second practice. It's pretty much wide open for qualifying with the top six within three tenths and the top 12 within a second. Final top eight classification: Button, Alonso, Raikkonen, M. Schumacher, Fisichella, Wurz, Webber, Heidfeld.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Alexander Wurz , Narain Karthikeyan , Christijan Albers , Felipe Massa , Tiago Monteiro , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan