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Raikkonen roars to Indianapolis pole

September 28, 2003 01:41 IST

Title outsider Kimi Raikkonen blasted into pole position for Sunday's US Grand Prix after Ferrari's Formula One leader Michael Schumacher had a qualifying nightmare.

Ice-cool Finn: Kimi RaikkonenThe McLaren driver, seven points behind Schumacher with just the Japanese Grand Prix to come, seized what could prove to be a crucial advantage in the closest title battle in years as Schumacher managed only the seventh best time.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, three points behind the German, was fourth fastest for Williams.

Finland's Raikkonen will share the front row with Schumacher's Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello, winner last year in a controversial finish when Schumacher slowed at the line after leading until then.

Montoya starts next to Frenchman Olivier Panis in a Toyota, his best qualifying of the season.

Montoya's teammate Ralf Schumacher, younger brother of Ferrari's defending champion, will be on the third row with Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Renault.

Michael Schumacher shares the fourth row with Briton David Coulthard, Raikkonen's teammate.

Montoya's fans, packing the main grandstand with banners and flags, roared in delight when Schumacher's time flashed up, slower than both Raikkonen and Panis.

They soon had more to celebrate when Alonso, winner for Renault in Hungary, went out next and pushed the German further down the grid.

Sunday's race at Indianapolis will be the first time Schumacher has not started on pole at the circuit, which first hosted a Grand Prix in 2000.

USA qualifying results

1Kimi Raikkonen1:11.650
2Rubens Barrichello+ 0.144
3Olivier Panis+ 0.270
4Juan Pablo Montoya+ 0.298
5Ralf Schumacher+ 0.428
6Fernando Alonso+ 0.437
7Michael Schumacher+ 0.544
8David Coulthard+ 0.647
9Cristiano da Matta+ 0.676
10Jarno Trulli+ 0.916
11Jenson Button+ 1.045
12Jacques Villeneuve+ 1.400
13Nick Heidfeld+ 1.433
14Mark Webber+ 1.619
15Heinz-Harald Frentzen+ 1.797
16Justin Wilson+ 1.935
17Giancarlo Fisichella+ 2.148
18Ralph Firman+ 2.377
19Jos Verstappen+ 3.710
20Nicolas Kiesa+ 3.994

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