Button fastest in final Abu Dhabi practice

Jenson Button beat Lewis Hamilton by a scant 0.002 seconds in the final Formula 1 practice session of 2009 in Abu Dhabi

Button fastest in final Abu Dhabi practice

The pair of British world champions had been closely-matched during Friday's sessions and resumed battle today, with Button sneaking ahead right at the end of the hour and earning his first fastest time in an official session since he took pole in Monaco five months ago.

McLaren driver Hamilton had been the man to beat for the majority of the session.

Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi had swapped first place with Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen early on, and then Button edged ahead of them with a very early soft tyre run. But then Hamilton completely blew them away with a 1m41.270s lap - 1.1s quicker than anyone else - on hard tyres just before the halfway point.

He later shaved a further 0.2s off that mark, and although Buemi briefly nosed back ahead, when Hamilton switched to soft tyres he rapidly moved back in front with a 1m40.810s two minutes from the end.

That looked set to stand as the best time of the session, until Button - back on harder tyres - stole the top spot with a 1m40.625s. Hamilton, still on his now-worn softs, improving to just 0.002s behind, but Button was going faster still on his next lap before backing off and returning to the pits.

Rubens Barrichello jumped to third in the dying seconds in the second Brawn, ahead of Buemi.

Nick Heidfeld completed the top five for BMW, despite earlier expressing his amazement at team-mate Robert Kubica's pace. In the end, the Pole was three places further back, behind Kovalainen and Toyota's Jarno Trulli. Adrian Sutil and Kimi Raikkonen filled the final top ten places for Force India and Ferrari.

The session passed without major incident, bar a brush of the barrier by Force India's Tonio Liuzzi and two quick spins from Renault's Romain Grosjean.

But while there were no accidents, Jaime Alguersuari was sidelined for the entire hour as his Toro Rosso team worked to fix a hydraulic problem.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:40.625 21 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:40.627 + 0.002 18 3. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:40.907 + 0.282 20 4. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:40.934 + 0.309 22 5. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:41.241 + 0.616 18 6. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:41.263 + 0.638 20 7. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:41.310 + 0.685 23 8. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:41.322 + 0.697 20 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:41.372 + 0.747 22 10. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:41.373 + 0.748 23 11. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:41.403 + 0.778 19 12. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:41.478 + 0.853 22 13. Kobayashi Toyota (B) 1:41.499 + 0.874 24 14. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:41.675 + 1.050 20 15. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:41.682 + 1.057 15 16. Alonso Renault (B) 1:41.897 + 1.272 19 17. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:42.156 + 1.531 21 18. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:42.213 + 1.588 19 19. Fisichella Ferrari (B) 1:42.351 + 1.726 23 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Sutil expects to remain at Force India

Previous article

Sutil expects to remain at Force India

Next article

Raikkonen adamant on McLaren option

Raikkonen adamant on McLaren option
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021