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Rediff.com  » Sports » Schumacher takes pole at Magny-Cours

Schumacher takes pole at Magny-Cours

July 15, 2006 20:39 IST

Michael Schumacher seized pole position for the French Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday as Ferrari swept the front row for the second race in succession.

The 37-year-old German, seven times a winner at the Magny-Cours circuit, lapped a mere 0.017 seconds quicker than Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa for his 68th career pole and fourth in 11 races.

The one-two on the starting grid was the Italian team's third of the season.

Ferrari's achievement dashed Renault's hopes of celebrating their 50th Formula One pole position in front of their home crowd, with world champion Fernando Alonso clocking the third quickest time.

Alonso, 19 points ahead of Schumacher in the championship after six wins this year, will start alongside Italian Jarno Trulli's Toyota.

"I'm happy to be third," said Alonso, runaway winner at Magny-Cours last year.

"I have a competitive and very consistent car in the long runs and I think my chance will come to me tomorrow. For one lap we were not quick enough and we knew that, so it's not a big surprise.

Michael Schumacher seized pole position for the French Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday as Ferrari swept the front row for the second race in succession.

The 37-year-old German, seven times a winner at the Magny-Cours circuit, lapped a mere 0.017 seconds quicker than Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa for his 68th career pole and fourth in 11 races.

The one-two on the starting grid was the Italian team's third of the season.

Ferrari's achievement dashed Renault's hopes of celebrating their 50th Formula One pole position in front of their home crowd, with world champion Fernando Alonso clocking the third quickest time.

Alonso, 19 points ahead of Schumacher in the championship after six wins this year, will start alongside Italian Jarno Trulli's Toyota.

"I'm happy to be third," said Alonso, runaway winner at Magny-Cours last year.

"I have a competitive and very consistent car in the long runs and I think my chance will come to me tomorrow. For one lap we were not quick enough and we knew that, so it's not a big surprise.

"It's interesting. Already at Indianapolis we had a little battle, a little race going," grinned Schumacher. "They should give points for these sort of things, it was nice."

Briton Jenson Button had a miserable afternoon, the Honda driver going out in the first session with only three cars slower than him.

However he moves up one place because Germany's Nico Rosberg, who qualified ninth for Williams, loses 10 places due to an unscheduled engine change.

The only Frenchman in the race, Super Aguri's Franck Montagny, outqualified Japanese team mate Takuma Sato to start in 21st place.

Source:
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