Practice 3: Schu in charge

Michael Schumacher remains at the top of the times after this morning's first 45-minute free practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. With a best time of 1m20.856s, the world champion consistently lapped in the 1m20s bracket - the only driver capable of doing so this morning

There is hope however, after British star Jenson Button closed to within four tenths of the Ferrari driver. Jenson's 1m21.165s time was good enough for second and split the home team, Rubens Barrichello ending the session third fastest. The Brazilian is still chasing set-ups after managing no better than fourth fastest overall yesterday.

Juan Pablo Montoya was spectacular around the 3.065-mile circuit. The WilliamsF1 BMW FW26 appears driver friendly with plenty of traction, but despite throwing the car in every direction and using all the kerbs and some of the grass, the Colombian's best time was still 0.9s slower than Schuey's benchmark.

Ralf Schumacher's 1m21.864s time placed him fifth, 0.1s behind his WilliamsF1 team-mate. Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest for Renault ahead of Takuma Sato in the second BAR.

David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen were eighth and ninth after a circumspect start to the morning. Yet again the McLaren team limited its mileage, its two drivers completing only 11 laps between them. Jarno Trulli rounded off the top ten in the second Renault.

Mark Webber's Jaguar was 11th ahead of Olivier Panis (Toyota), Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber), Felipe Massa (Sauber) and Cristiano da Matta (Toyota).

Giorgio Pantano was the fastest of the privateer Cosworth gang, outpacing his Jordan team-mate Nick Heidfeld by over half a second. Minardi's Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner completed the timed runners.

Jaguar has its work cut out after Christian Klien clouted the wall heavily at the Variante Alta. In a similar accident to Timo Glock's yesterday, the Austrian clattered over the kerbs and spun into the wall, pretty much damaging all four corners and taking off the front and rear wings. He walked away, but failed to record a time.

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