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Trulli leads Button in Saturday practice 08 Mar 2003

Jarno Trulli (ITA) Renault R23 
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 7 March 2003

The revised F1 regulations threw up another interesting list of times in Melbourne this morning, as Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button set the fastest times for Renault and BAR, and Fernando Alonso lapped quicker than Michael Schumacher (who crashed) and troublefree Rubens Barrichello.

"We improved the set-up step-by-step during the two sessions and I have a very satisfying balance and that is why I gained so much time on my last run," Trulli said. "In race trim the car is very comfortable and very competitive."

Button was equally upbeat, running less fuel in his BAR Honda than team-mate Jacques Villeneuve, who was 13th. "I am much happier with the car today," the Englishman said. "The balance is fine and I had no problems."

Schumacher did. The world champion finally spun his Ferrari after several off-course moments. "I had oversteer and I hit the kerb and spun," he reported unhappily.

Schumacher's damaged car was repaired, but Kimi Raikkonen crashed his McLaren heavily in Turn Five and will use the spare MP4-17D this afternoon for qualifying.

Montoya and Ralf Schumacher were happier with their BMW Williamses with sixth and seventh best times, running with reasonable fuel loads, while Nick Heidfeld overcame time loss due to an engine that would not start to jump up to eighth fastest in the closing stages, ahead of David Coulthard and the Toyotas of Cristiano da Matta (who spun) and Olivier Panis. British rookies Firman and Wilson were 17th and 19th respectively.