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Sutil keeps top spot in final Monza practice
12 September 2009
Giancarlo Fisichella may have been forgiven for allowing himself a moment of reflection after Saturday morning practice at Monza, as his Ferrari languished at the bottom of the times - and in the barrier at the Parabolica - while former team-mate Adrian Sutil topped the table for the second straight session.
Fisichella had barely begun to scratch the surface of what may have been possible from the F60 when he locked up entering the final turn and skated across the gravel trap before hitting the tyrewall hard with the left front corner. The Italian, who stepped into the poisoned chalice of the second Ferrari after Luca Badoer proved incapable of living up to the task of replacing the injured Felipe Massa, ended the session 2.615secs off the pace.
Pace that was set by former Force India team-mate Sutil, who bettered his Friday benchmark by more than half a second to stop the clocks at 1min 23.336secs. With replacement Tonio Liuzzi ending the hour in seventh spot, Fisichella may well wonder what might have been.
There was encouraging news for Jenson Button, who claimed second spot for Brawn GP, just 0.068secs behind Sutil, as temperatures at Monza showed signs of favouring the BGP001 after weeks of frustration. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello, currently Button's closest championship threat, was fourth overall, separated from his team-mate by the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld, with Friday morning pacesetter Lewis Hamilton rounding out the top five.
With Heikki Kovalainen sixth fastest, there were encouraging signs for McLaren, especially with Kimi Raikkonen only twelfth in the best of the Ferraris. Behind Liuzzi, Fernando Alonso, Timo Glock and Robert Kubica completed the top ten, all of whom ducked under 1min 24secs.
At the tail of the field, Fisichella was joined on the sidelines by Jaime Alguersuari, who looks set to take a five-place grid penalty as a result of a gearbox change during the session.
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