Raikkonen holds pole position for Monaco GP

Raikkonen holds pole position for Monaco GP

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen hung on to pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix by less than a tenth from Renault's Fernando Alonso in Sunday's qualifying session. Alonso's lap was faster but Raikkonen had the advantage from Saturday and clocked an ...

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen hung on to pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix by less than a tenth from Renault's Fernando Alonso in Sunday's qualifying session. Alonso's lap was faster but Raikkonen had the advantage from Saturday and clocked an aggregate of 2:30.323 to stay in front. Williams' Mark Webber held station in third.

Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Ralf Schumacher's Toyota was first out on track, having not set a time on Saturday due to an accident, but, unsurprisingly, he only did an installation lap before heading back in. He will be starting from the back of the gird anyway so no point in doing a flyer.

Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan will suffer the ten grid demotion penalty after an engine change yesterday but he did go out to set a time, an aggregate of 2:43.442. Teammate Tiago Monteiro's lap was a couple of tenths quicker to clock 2:43.078 over all.

Christijan Albers led out for Minardi and held the pace from yesterday, 2:42.206, his lap about seven tenths quicker than Monteiro. Patrick Friesacher was better still, 2:40.810 on aggregate, over a second quicker than Albers. Minardi will be very pleased to outqualify the Jordans again.

Tonio Liuzzi was the first Red Bull out, after running first yesterday which hampered him somewhat. His lap looked a little untidy but he took over the top spot with a 2:37.152. Sauber's Felipe Massa was next and was easily quicker, well over a second for 2:35.120.

Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was a few tenths quicker, 2:34.736, but not a particularly good lap for the German. Teammate Rubens Barrichello lost his advantage over Michael from Saturday and slotted in one place behind, his lap time a couple of tenths slower.

Jacques Villeneuve had a good run on Saturday to outqualify teammate Massa but although he stayed ahead of the Brazilian he lost out to Schumacher to take second -- his lap time was slower than Massa and both Ferraris. Halfway through and only Michael had improved his place.

David Coulthard had a neat and tidy lap in the second Red Bull to go fastest, 2:33.867, and he was followed by the Toyota of Jarno Trulli. Trulli was a little disadvantaged yesterday as he was the first runner after Ralf's crash but today he had a good lap and clocked 2:32.590 for the top.

Nick Heidfeld couldn't manage to keep his Williams ahead of Trulli and slotted into second. McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya should have been next but he will be demoted to the back of the grid and didn't bother with a flyer. The penalty was given for causing an accident in practice on Saturday.

Giancarlo Fisichella was therefore the next runner and the Renault was up on Trulli through sectors one and two. He held it through the last and took provisional pole with an aggregate 2:32.100, almost half a second quicker. That left three to go, with Webber first up.

The Aussie was a couple of tenths up in the first two sectors and carried it through to clock 2:31.656. Alonso had a half second deficit to Raikkonen and he totally floored it -- over a second up on Webber by the middle sector. He took provisional pole with a 2:30.406, the first lap under 1:17.

Raikkonen's McLaren was slightly up on the Renault in the first two sectors and the Finn snatched pole by just about a tenth overall, 2:30.323. His lap was a few tenths slower than Alonso but the advantage from yesterday kept him ahead. Really thrilling stuff from the two youngsters.

Michael and Trulli were the only two gainers in this session, while Barrichello and Villeneuve lost out. Will the Renault's flying starts get Alonso to the first corner ahead of Raikkonen? We'll just have to wait and see. Final top eight classification: Raikkonen, Alonso, Webber, Fisichella, Trulli, Heidfeld, Coulthard, M. Schumacher.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan