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Schumacher puts Ferrari on pole in Bahrain
March 11, 2006 18:36 IST
Last Updated: March 11, 2006 20:13 IST
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher seized pole for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday and added another Formula One record to his collection.
Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa, in his first race for Ferrari, will line up alongside the seven times world champion on Sunday for his first front row start.
"It's an amazing result. All winter we knew we seemed to have a good package but then you wait for the final confirmation. Here we have the confirmation," Schumacher said.
"It's a nice way to be back and a great feeling."
With the knockout qualifying format making an entertaining debut at the windy desert circuit, Britain's Jenson Button (Honda) and Spanish world champion Fernando Alonso (Renault) filled the second row.
Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth for McLaren, ahead of Brazilian Rubens Barrichello in the second Honda after drivers fought through two knockout sessions before a final 20-minute scramble for pole.
Schumacher's accomplished lap was the perfect start for the once-dominant team after a dismal 2005, allowing the 37-year-old to equal Brazilian Ayrton Senna's record of 65 pole positions.
It was his first pole since Hungary last year and Ferrari's first front row sweep since Hungary in 2004.
Asked about Senna's record, Schumacher said: "It makes me proud. That is probably all I can say about it."
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, last year's runner-up, was the big casualty after he failed to complete a timed lap due to a suspected suspension failure.
The Finn brought out the red flags in the first of the three sessions after bouncing off the track at speed. The McLaren's rear wing had sheared off, leaving the rear right wheel trailing at an angle.
Raikkonen nursed his car back to the pits while the session was suspended, but there was not enough time for repairs.
Sunday's starting grid from the Formula One Grand Prix of Bahrain:
1. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 3. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 5. Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia) McLaren 6. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 7. Mark Webber (Australia) Williams - Cosworth 8. Christian Klien (Austria) RedBull - Ferrari 9. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault.
10. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 11. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BMW Sauber 12. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 13. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Ferrari 14. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 15. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso - Cosworth 16. Scott Speed (U.S.) Toro Rosso - Cosworth 17. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota 18. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) Midland - Toyota 19. Tiago Monteiro (Portugal) Midland - Toyota 20. Takuma Sato (Japan) Super Aguri - Honda 21. Yuji Ide (Japan) Super Aguri - Honda 22. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) McLaren
Formula One: The Complete Coverage