Prac 4: Rubens fastest

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello became the fourth different man to top the timesheets when he went fastest in final free practice for the Italian Grand Prix. But the world champions may well have a fight on their hands for pole after the top ten cars were covered by less than a second

Prac 4: Rubens fastest

Barrichello set his time late on in an eventful session. The Brazilian even had a spin at the first chicane, but continued without so much as leaving the track. The Ferrari man's time was 0.029s slower than team-mate Michael Schumacher managed on his first flying lap yesterday morning, but was 0.343s faster than the world champion achieved this morning. Could Schuey be on a harder Bridgestone compound?

Montoya ended the morning second fastest. Having been quickest in the first session he then dominated for all but ten minutes of the second one. The Williams man was only 0.098s slower than Barrichello however.

BAR-Honda's Jenson Button was third, a further 0.081s behind the Colombian and only a whisker quicker than Fernando Alonso's Renault, in fourth. With Takuma Sato, Kimi Raikkonen, Schumacher and Antonio Pizzonia also within half a second of the ultimate pace, this afternoon is shaping up to be one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the season.

David Coulthard was ninth fastest after a spin at Turn 4, but even the McLaren man was only just over half a second away from the fastest time. Jarno Trulli's Renault rounded out the top ten.

Felipe Massa's Sauber was 12th ahead of Olivier Panis's Toyota. Fisichella (Sauber) and Ricardo Zonta (Toyota) followed them up. The two Jaguars of Christian Klien and Mark Webber were last of the factory cars in 15th and 16th.

There was drama among the Cosworth ranks when Giorgio Pantano and Zsolt Baumgartner were lucky to escape a frightening shunt.

Neither had set a time and were starting flying laps when Pantano's Jordan snapped right under braking for the first chicane. The Italian's car travelled backwards across the kerbing and painted asphalt at alarming speed before striking Baumgartner's Minardi as the Hungarian negotiated the chicane. The incident was reminiscent of Nick Heidfeld and Takuma Sato's Austrian GP shunt in 2002.

Remarkably there was little in the way of debris to clear up and both drivers walked away from the scene. Baumgartner probably wondering what on earth had just happened to him. Unsurprisingly, neither would end up setting a time.

Nick Heidfeld and Gianmaria Bruni were the last classified runners.

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