Prac 4: Schuey fights back

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has resumed his customary place at the top of the timesheets in the final practice session for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix as teams prepare their cars for this afternoon's (Saturday) all-important qualifying session. Rubens Barrichello made it a 1-2 for the world champions with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen the third quickest, albeit half a second down on the German's pace

Prac 4: Schuey fights back

With a time of 1m33.289s, it was not the quickest time of the weekend. BAR's test driver Anthony Davidson holds that honour so far this weekend after his sensational lap of the Shnghai International Circuit in Friday's second practice. But nonetheless, Schumacher's 1m33.448s in a race-trim machine was pretty good going.

It is the first time Schumacher has put his name at the top of the timesheets having struggled to find a balance on his F2004 on Friday and even suffered a rare problem on his car at the end of the pitlane, later diagnosed as a software glitch.

But the world champion is seemingly back on form and was over three tenths quicker than team-mate Barrichello.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen moved up the order following his sixth quickest time in the first session on Saturday, but team-mate David Coulthard seems to be struggling somewhat today in comparison and could only manage the eight fastest time.

BAR's Jenson Button also improved on his earlier effort this morning, this time setting the fourth quickest time, but in a situation similar to the McLaren duo, team-mate Takuma Sato was lower down the order in 13th. The Japanese driver will have to run better than that in qualifying later today given that he will drop 10 places on the grid due to his engine change on Friday.

Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella continues to impress after he set the fifth quickest time once again while Jordan's Nick Heidfeld made a surprise appearance with the seventh fastest lap.

Williams pair Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya, pacesetters in the first session today, dropped significantly in the second with the Colombian setting the seventh fastest time while Schumacher Jr could only manage 12th.

Having been outpaced by F1 returnee Jacques Villeneuve in the first session, Renault's Fernando Alonso got the better of his team-mate in the second session, but with the 11th and 15th times respectively BAR is sure to have a smile on its face as it bids to retain its second spot in the constructors' championship this weekend.

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