Raikkonen takes pole for USA Grand Prix

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Looking to dethrone Michael Schumacher as the king of F1, Kimi Raikkonen will start Sunday's USA Grand Prix from pole position.

Raikkonen takes pole for USA Grand Prix

Indianapolis:

Looking to dethrone Michael Schumacher as the king of F1, Kimi Raikkonen will start Sunday's USA Grand Prix from pole position. The Finn set Saturday's fastest time of one minute 11.670 seconds in final qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Schumacher himself was a disappointing seventh-quickest while Juan Pablo Montoya a€" the other man involved in the dogfight at the top of the standings a€" was fourth-fastest. Raikkonen took his McLaren Mercedes to a best time of one minute, 11.670 seconds a€" 0.124 seconds faster than Rubens Barrichello. The performance of the defending race champion could have a huge influence on the direction of this year's crown. Team orders are banned in Formula One after two controversial Ferrari victories last year, including Indianapolis. Michael disappointsWith Michael Schumacher involved in a tight scrap to hold onto his title, the best help his colleague can provide is to stop the German's rivals from scoring too many points. Olivier Panis recorded Toyota racing's best-ever qualifying performance with third spot. Going into Sunday's race, Schumacher has 82 points, Montoya 79 and Raikkonen 75.Ralf Schumacher had a problem when he slid off the road and struck a tyre barrier in turn eight, though he did escape injury. He later qualified in 1:12.194 for fifth place a€" one position ahead of Renault's Fernando Alonso.Sunday's race at Indianapolis will be the first time Michael Schumacher has not started on pole at the circuit, which first hosted a grand prix in 2000. Schumacher has never finished lower than second there. The German could clinch the title on Sunday if circumstances go his way, but he needs Montoya to finish sixth or lower and Raikkonen to take no better than third place. At the moment, such an outcome looks unlikely a€" which will set up a dramatic finale to the season in Suzuka. (AP)



Topics : Formula 1
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