Thursday August 23rd, 2001
Briton Jenson Button received a morale boost on Thursday after a dismal season as he topped the timesheets on the third day of testing at the Barcelona circuit, being more than 1.5 seconds quicker than his nearest rival Marc Gene.
The Benetton driver continued working at the Spanish circuit for the third consecutive day, setting a fastest time of 1:20.138 after 43 laps. Button's lap was only three hundreds of a second slower than Ralf Schumacher's best time in the first two days of testing.
The German driver, who was quickest on Tuesday and Wednesday, was today replaced by Williams' test driver Gene, who completed 46 laps with the BMW-powered FW23. The Spaniard finished the day ahead of Australian Mark Webber, the slowest driver for the third successive day.
Testing at Barcelona will finish on Friday, when both Michelin-shod teams are expected to carry out a wet weather test.
Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time
1. Button Benetton-Renault (M) 1:20.138
2. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:21.832
3. Webber Benetton-Renault (M) 1:23.398
All Timing Unofficial
Published at 16:49:26 GMT