De la Rosa Stays on Top at Imola

McLaren were given a boost in Friday afternoon's practice for the San Marino Grand Prix when Pedro de la Rosa and Kimi Raikkonen finished first and third fastest in the second session

De la Rosa Stays on Top at Imola

De la Rosa, who raced for the team in Bahrain but returned to his usual third driver role this weekend, beat his session-leading lap in the first session with a time of 1:20.484 in the second to end the day on top of the pile.

But Jenson Button signalled his and BAR-Honda's intent to return to the sharp end of Formula One this weekend when he finished second fastest, albeit 0.568 seconds behind the lead McLaren.

Button, whose team have failed to finish a race so far this season, was confident of improved pace heading into this weekend's event after a strong performance in testing in the last two weeks.

The British driver, whose car has an improved engine and aerodynamics, finished with a time of 1:21.052, set early in the session, to split the McLaren drivers and leave Kimi Raikkonen, of Finland, third.

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta finished fourth fastest with Spaniard Fernando Alonso, the World Championship leader, fifth fastest for Renault despite completing just 10 laps.

World Champion Michael Schumacher finished right behind in sixth place with his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello seventh as the Italian team continued their fightback from a disappointing start to the year.

Alex Wurz, who is substituting for the injured Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend, put his McLaren in eighth place and Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato completed the top ten for Renault and BAR respectively.

With half the session gone Button was on the top of the times with a lap of 1:21.052, almost a second ahead of second-placed Barrichello and 0.008 seconds faster than de la Rosa's fastest run in the morning session.

Jordan test driver Robert Doornbos went off at Aqua Minerale and spun across the gravel trap before coming to rest against the barriers, but he recovered and returned to the pits with only damage to his car's front wing.

The top runners remained the same with 20 minutes to go and while Fisichella, who chose not to run in the first session, sat in third his teammate Fernando Alonso, who also set no laps in the first run, finally came out of the garage.

Narain Karthikeyan was the second Jordan to leave the circuit when he went wide at the Villeneuve corner, Red Bull Racing driver Christian Klien missed his braking point at the Traguado chicane and Ralf Schumacher spun at the Variante Alta.

Alonso moved into the top ten with a solid lap while, at the front, Raikkonen deposed Barrichello from second but was still more than half a second shy of Button's best time but de la Rosa eventually toppled the Briton.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.484 31 2. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:21.052 + 0.568 28 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:21.704 + 1.220 16 4. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:21.889 + 1.405 35 5. Alonso Renault (M) 1:21.899 + 1.415 10 6. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:22.025 + 1.541 24 7. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:22.048 + 1.564 22 8. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:22.174 + 1.690 17 9. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:22.211 + 1.727 23 10. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:22.335 + 1.851 27 11. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:22.791 + 2.307 23 12. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:22.955 + 2.471 22 13. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:23.343 + 2.859 20 14. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:23.458 + 2.974 16 15. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:23.466 + 2.982 21 16. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:23.815 + 3.331 20 17. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:23.842 + 3.358 16 18. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:23.964 + 3.480 14 19. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:24.320 + 3.836 38 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:24.573 + 4.089 21 21. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:24.626 + 4.142 29 22. Doornbos Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:25.172 + 4.688 15 23. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:26.620 + 6.136 14 24. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) No Time All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Ecclestone Wants Old Qualifying Back
Previous article

Ecclestone Wants Old Qualifying Back

Next article

Sauber to Change Massa's Engine

Sauber to Change Massa's Engine
Load comments
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022