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Trulli takes pole at rainy Spa
Gary Emmerson | August 28, 2004 19:53 IST
Renault's Jarno Trulli claimed pole position for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix as weather conditions played into his hands in qualifying on Saturday.
Italian Trulli claimed the second pole of his career from world champion Michael Schumacher after a tyre choice gamble by Renault played into his hands.
Trulli took to the track on wet weather tyres, rather than the extreme wet weather tyres used by other drivers, and his time set in the middle of the session proved unbeatable.
Trulli's only other pole came in Monaco in May when he turned the qualifying performance into his maiden Grand Prix victory.
German Schumacher, who will wrap up a seventh drivers' crown if he wins for the 13th time this season on Sunday, looked set for pole but lost time in the final sector and ended 0.072 seconds down.
Schumacher's Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello had also been on course to take pole position but, half-a-second up heading into the final sector of the lap, the Brazilian made a mistake and ran wide and qualified in sixth.
Trulli's Renault team mate Fernando Alonso was third quickest in the session after taking the same tyre gamble, with David Coulthard fourth for McLaren and Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella fifth.
BAR, chasing Renault for second place in the constructors' championship, endured a nightmare in the wet conditions as Jenson Button qualified 12th and Takuma Sato 15th.
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was also affected by the wet track and will start from 10th on the grid.
Toyota driver Ricardo Zonta will start from the back of the grid after the Brazilian skidded off track in pre-qualifying and failed to set a competitive time in the grid-deciding session.
Drivers had only 15 minutes track time of the scheduled hour-and-a-half morning practice sessions after persistent rain and low cloud prevented the medical helicopter from taking to the skies.
Provisional starting grid for the Belgian Grand Prix:
1. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Renault 1:56.232
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