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Alonso puts Renault on pole in France

July 02, 2005 17:53 IST
Last Updated: July 02, 2005 17:57 IST


Renault's world championship leader Fernando Alonso seized pole position for the French Formula One Grand Prix for the second year in a row on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Spaniard lapped the Magny-Cours circuit in one minute 14.412 seconds for his third pole in 10 races this season.

Italian Jarno Trulli, who took Toyota's first Formula One pole position at the last U.S. Grand Prix before the seven Michelin teams withdrew from the race for tyre safety reasons, joined Alonso on the front row. Trulli was 0.109 of a second slower.

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest but will start 13th as a penalty for an unscheduled engine change after a failure in Friday's practice.

Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher and BAR's Takuma Sato filled the second row with Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello and Renault's Italian Giancarlo Fisichella behind them.

BAR's Briton Jenson Button and McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya completed the fourth row.

Sunday's race marks the halfway point in the championship, the 10th race in a season of 19 Grands Prix. Alonso has 59 points to Raikkonen's 37 and Schumacher's 34.

French carmaker Renault, on home territory and with thousands of employees boosting the Magny-Cours crowd, lead McLaren and Ferrari by 13 points in the constructors' championship.

Qualifying result:

  1.  Fernando Alonso (Spain)          Renault   1:14.412
  2.  Jarno Trulli (Italy)             Toyota    1:14.521
  3.  Kimi Raikkonen (Finland)         McLaren   1:14.559
  4.  Michael Schumacher (Germany)     Ferrari   1:14.572
  5.  Takuma Sato (Japan)              BAR       1:14.655
  6.  Rubens Barrichello (Brazil)      Ferrari   1:14.832
  7.  Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy)     Renault   1:14.887
  8.  Jenson Button (Britain)          BAR       1:15.051
  9.  Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia)    McLaren   1:15.406
10.  Felipe Massa (Brazil)            Sauber    1:15.566
11.  Jacques Villeneuve (Canada)      Sauber    1:15.699
12.  Ralf Schumacher (Germany)        Toyota    1:15.771
13.  Mark Webber (Australia)          Williams  1:15.885
14.  Nick Heidfeld (Germany)          Williams  1:16.207
15.  David Coulthard (Britain)        Red Bull  1:16.434
16.  Christian Klien (Austria)        Red Bull  1:16.547
17.  Narain Karthikeyan (India)       Jordan    1:17.857
18.  Patrick Friesacher (Austria)     Minardi   1:17.960
19.  Tiago Monteiro (Portugal)        Jordan    1:18.047
20.  Christijan Albers (Netherlands)  Minardi   1:18.335.


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