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Home > Sports > News > Reuters > Report

Trulli fastest in first Japan qualifying

October 10, 2003 12:23 IST
Last Updated: October 10, 2003 17:40 IST

Italian Jarno Trulli raised Renault's hopes with the fastest time in Friday's first qualifying for Sunday's title-deciding Japanese Grand Prix.

Trulli lapped the figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit in one minute 30.281 seconds, 0.062 ahead of Germany's Ralf Schumacher in the Williams.

Ralf's older brother Michael, the Ferrari driver who need finish only eighth to take a record sixth Formula One championship, was third with sole title rival Kimi Raikkonen fifth quickest.

McLaren's Raikkonen must win on Sunday to have any chance of preventing Schumacher from being crowned champion.

Schumacher has 92 points to Raikkonen's 83.

Sunday will also decide the constructors' championship with Ferrari three points clear of Williams at the top.

Renault won the Hungarian Grand Prix in August with Spaniard Fernando Alonso and expect to be challenging for the podium at Suzuka as well. In another blow to Raikkonen in a session that merely determined the start times for Saturday's definitive qualifying, the Finn was slower than British team mate David Coulthard.

Japan's Takuma Sato, replacing Jacques Villeneuve after the Canadian former champion quit BAR before what would have been his final race for the team, was 11th fastest at a circuit he knows better than any other.

His British team mate Jenson Button was 16th.

Times in Friday's first qualifying:

1.Jarno TrulliItalyRenault1min, 30.281 seconds
2.Ralf SchumacherGermanyWilliams1:30.343
3.Michael SchumacherGermanyFerrari1:30.464
4.David CoulthardBritainMcLaren1:30.482
5.Kimi RaikkonenFinlandMcLaren1:30.558
6.Fernando AlonsoSpainRenault1:30.624
7.Rubens BarrichelloBrazilFerrari1:30.758
8.Juan Pablo MontoyaColombiaWilliams1:31.201
9.Mark WebberAustraliaJaguar1:31.305
10.Nick HeidfeldGermanySauber1:31.783
11.Takuma SatoJapanBAR1:31.832
12.Heinz-Harald FrentzenGermanySauber1:31.892
13.Olivier PanisFranceToyota1:31.908
14.Cristiano da MattaBrazilToyota1:32.256
15.Justin WilsonBritainJaguar1:32.291
16.Jenson ButtonBritainBAR1:32.374
17.Ralph FirmanBritainJordan1:33.057
18.Giancarlo FisichellaItalyJordan1:33.313
19.Jos VerstappenNetherlandsMinardi1:34.836
20.Nicolas KiesaDenmarkMinardi1:36.181

Formula One 2003 - Complete coverage

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