Free practice 2: Button fastest for BAR

For the first time in his career, Jenson Button sits at the top of an official F1 timesheet after setting the fastest lap in the first 45-minute free practice session in Melbourne this morning

Free practice 2: Button fastest for BAR

Button followed up British American Racing Honda's promising start to the new F1 season on Friday by lapping in 1:27.415s, some 0.2s quicker than the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello, which was fastest in first qualifying yesterday.

Ralf Schumacher was a further couple of tenths adrift as the BMW WilliamsF1 Team aimed to make progress after a disappointing opening day. Brother Michael, meanwhile, continued with his less than perfect start to the new year when he lost the back end of his Ferrari F2002 in Turn 14 and took off the car's nose and left front wheel against the wall. Handily though, he was sufficiently close to the pitlane to get the car back and despite completing just nine laps, had fourth quickest time with a 1m27.987s lap.

That is more than can be said for Kimi Raikkonen, who brought out the red flag with 10 minutes of the session remaining when he shunted his McLaren-Mercedes heavily at Turn Five but without damage to himself. The left side of the McLaren was destroyed and the Finn must now decide whether to switch to the spare for the remainder of the weekend.

Jarno Trulli, just 0.6s adrift of the ultimate pace in the first of the Renaults, was fifth ahead of David Coulthard's McLaren and Juan Pablo Montoya in the second WilliamsF1 BMW. Fernando Alonso made it two Renaults in the top eight, with Mark Webber's Jaguar and Jacques Villeneuve's BAR-Honda completing the top 10.

Villeneuve actually stopped out on the circuit with a few seconds of the session remaining, while the only other casualty was Antonio Pizzonia's Jaguar which went off backwards in Turn Three with the session 20 minutes old.

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