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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Massa takes pole ahead of Hamilton

October 20, 2007 23:15 IST
Last Updated: October 20, 2007 23:24 IST

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton [Images] drew first blood in his Formula One title battle by qualifying in front of his two rivals for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, the 22-year-old rookie who can become Formula One's youngest champion on Sunday, will start second with Ferrari's [Images] Brazilian Felipe Massa [Images] on pole position for the second successive year in front of his home fans.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen [Images] was third fastest in Saturday's qualifying and shares the second row in the season-ending race with McLaren's unhappy double world champion Fernando Alonso [Images].

Hamilton leads Spaniard Alonso by four points, with Finland's Raikkonen a further three behind in the first three-way title decider since 1986.

"It's good, it's almost all in his hands now," team boss Ron Dennis told Britain's ITV television.

"There's a bit more work to do, (there were) a few glitches but nothing too serious. We're looking forward to a good clean fight and a good conclusion to the championship."

Hamilton, who saw the Interlagos track for the first time only on Thursday, said he had enjoyed the session.

"We seem to have really good pace here," he said.

"I'm just buzzing, really buzzing."

Hamilton will be champion if the grid positions are maintained and having Massa, who won in Brazil [Images] last year, on pole rather than Raikkonen or Alonso also boosted his chances.

No driver has won a race this season from further back than third place on the grid.

"It's a fantastic feeling," said Massa of his sixth pole of the year that also leaves him with a real chance of winning again on Sunday.

Massa would have been expected to help Raikkonen's championship challenge but, with Hamilton sandwiched between the Ferraris, that may not be possible.

"I'd rather be on the front row but that's where we are," said the Finn. "Tomorrow we can try and do something different and see what happens."

Sunday's starting Grid

1. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1 min 11.931 secs
2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:12.082
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:12.322
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1:12.356
5. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:12.928
6. Nick Heidfeld (Germany [Images]) BMW [Images] Sauber 1:13.081
7. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1:13.129
8. Jarno Trulli (Italy [Images]) Toyota 1:13.195
9. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault 1:13.272
10. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota 1:13.477
11. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1:12.932
12. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault 1:12.968
13. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:13.058
14. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:13.251
15. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota 1:13.351
16. Jenson Button [Images] (Britain) Honda 1:13.469
17. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Renault 1:14.078
18. Takuma Sato (Japan [Images]) Super Aguri - Honda 1:14.098
19. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams - Toyota 1:14.417
20. Anthony Davidson (Britain) Super Aguri - Honda 1:14.596
21. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Spyker - Ferrari 1:15.217
22. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) Spyker - Ferrari 1:15.487

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