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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Fisichella on pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

March 18, 2006 13:33 IST

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella took pole position with a flying late lap in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Italian grabbed the third pole position of his career in a time of one minute 33.840, knocking Honda's Jenson Button off the top spot as the seconds ticked away at the end of the session.

- 2006 F1 season coverage

The Briton lapped in 1:33.986 just ahead of Williams rookie Nico Rosberg, who continued the impressive start to his Formula One career with the third fastest lap.

Seven times world champion Michael Schumacher was next quickest for Ferrari but was one of four who replaced their engine over the weekend and will lose 10 places on the grid as a result.

Australian Mark Webber will therefore line up alongside Rosberg in an all-Williams second row with the McLarens of Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen behind in row three.

World champion Fernando Alonso will start seventh on the grid alongside Red Bull's Christian Klein.

Ralf Schumacher, who briefly topped the times in morning, pulled over on the start-finish straight six minutes into the second session with his engine in flames to continue a miserable start start to the season for Toyota.

His best time was ninth fastest in the session but he was not able take part in the final round leaving just nine cars battling it out for pole.

"It would have been good to show our performance here, I think it's looking a lot better than Bahrain but that's what we expected anyway," said the German.

"At least we are sure about that now so we can concentrate on tomorrow but certainly it will be a tough one."

Red Bull's David Coulthard, Honda's Rubens Barrichello, Toyota driver Jarno Trulli, BMW's Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld and Ferrari's Felipe Massa all went out of the reckoning in the second 15-minute session.

The first session went to form with backmarkers Toro Rosso, Midland and Super Aguri providing the six drivers eliminated.

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