Schumacher takes pole position

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday to gain a fourth successive pole position in the Spanish Grand Prix, to be raced on Sunday.

Schumacher takes pole position

Barcelona:

Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday to gain a fourth successive pole position in the Spanish Grand Prix, to be raced on Sunday. Season leader Kimi Raikkonen failed to record a time and will start last. On a warm, humid day, Schumacher timed 1 minute, 17.762 seconds on the 4.73-kilometer (2.93-mile) Circuit de Catalunya with the new-model Ferrari, F2003-GA. Last season, Schumacher earned the pole position in 1:16.364 and went on to win the race. The last time he didn't have pole position here was in 1999. Second was Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello at 1:18.020. Third was Renault's rising star Fernando Alonso in 1:18.233. He became the youngest to gain a pole position in Formula One at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli, continuing Renault's success this year, was fourth in 1:18.615. Using the F2002 model, Schumacher won the last F1 race at San Marino two weeks ago. He has won the last two Spanish GP races and four overall since 1995, including his first as a Ferrari driver in 1996. It was his 53rd career pole position and third this season. McLaren's Raikkonen will start in the pit lane as a result of not completing a lap. He went into the gravel after missing a turn and then went directly into the pits and did not record a time. However, his team will be able to work on the car while the other cars will be impounded until the start of the race. McLaren can now change fuel loads and tires. Under the new qualifying rules, the drivers had just one lap to post a time to determine the starting grid for Sunday's race. The drivers went out in reverse order from the standings of Friday's pre-qualifying, where Schumacher had the top time. Teams will not be able to add fuel or change tires until the race begins on Sunday. This has affected the standings, as there have been four different winners in the first four races of the season for the first time since 1983. Schumacher, the five-time defending champion, lies third in the driver standings with 18 points from four races, trailing leader Raikkonen by 14 points, and the Finn's McLaren teammate David Coulthard by a point. (AP)



Topics : Formula 1
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