Button Fastest in Practice 4 - Imola

Jenson Button proved his BAR-Honda team are back on the pace in time for this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix when he topped the final practice session at Imola on Saturday morning

Button Fastest in Practice 4 - Imola

Button, who qualified on pole position here last year, has suffered a disastrous season so far and is yet to finish a race after being blighted by reliability problems as well as a lack of pace.

But improvements in testing look to have improved the car significantly and his time of 1:20.058, the fastest of the weekend so far, put him 0.056 seconds clear of World Championship leader Fernando Alonso.

The order of the final practice, however, proved extremely tight, with the top ten drivers all covered by less than half a second.

Renault driver Alonso finished second, just ahead of third-placed driver Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren as Michael Schumacher finished fourth just 0.260 seconds off the pace.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella finished fifth in the second Renault while Alex Wurz, replacing the injured Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend, was sixth fastest, just ahead of lead Williams driver Mark Webber, of Australia.

Webber's German teammate Nick Heidfeld finished eighth with Takuma Sato, of Japan, ninth in the second BAR-Honda and Felipe Massa, of Sauber, completing the top ten runners.

Michael Schumacher immediately bettered his previous best time of the day to put himself at the top of the timesheets and Raikkoen slotted into second place more than half a second down.

Portuguese driver Tiago Montiero spun in his Jordan into the gravel trap and stopped 15 minutes into the 45-minute session, limiting his running ahead of the qualifying session.

Raikkonen and then Button jumped ahead of Schumacher at the top of the timesheets as the session continued and the lap time moved closer and closer to dropping into the 1:19s.

Barrichello ran through a gravel trap with five minutes of the session remaining and finished down in 12th place and both PS05 Minardi cars stayed in the garage for the entire session.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:20.058 16 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:20.114 + 0.056 8 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.209 + 0.151 10 4. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:20.318 + 0.260 13 5. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:20.351 + 0.293 18 6. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.358 + 0.300 11 7. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:20.424 + 0.366 6 8. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:20.431 + 0.373 6 9. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:20.450 + 0.392 17 10. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:20.506 + 0.448 11 11. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:20.802 + 0.744 11 12. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:20.851 + 0.793 12 13. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:21.105 + 1.047 14 14. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:21.136 + 1.078 12 15. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:21.543 + 1.485 11 16. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:22.188 + 2.130 13 17. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:22.964 + 2.906 8 18. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:24.910 + 4.852 5 19. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) No Time 20. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) No Time All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Teams in No Rush to Change Qualifying
Previous article

Teams in No Rush to Change Qualifying

Next article

Q & A with Brawn, Suganuma

Q & A with Brawn, Suganuma
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Plus

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Plus

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. OLEG KARPOV asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021