Alonso Claims Pole - Bahrain GP

Renault proved they are fit for the challenge of World Champions Ferrari and their new F2005 machine, as Fernando Alonso claimed pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday morning

Alonso Claims Pole - Bahrain GP

Alonso had to give it his all to stay ahead, after setting the best time in first qualifying on Saturday. But he was able to do so with a clean lap to set a combined time of 3:01.902 and put himself 0.455 seconds ahead of the German World Champion Michael Schumacher, who had to settle for second.

Italian Jarno Trulli, now used to starting from the front row, will have to start from the second after finishing third for Toyota but he remained confident for the race.

Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber finished fourth and fifth for Williams, who have looked strong since the final practice session, while German Ralf Schumacher put the second Toyota into sixth.

Red Bull Racing driver Christian Klien finished seventh with McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa eighth, just ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, and Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella a disappointing tenth.

Rubens Barrichello was the first top runner to take to the track after setting a slow time in first qualifying having completed just five laps in the four practice sessions due to gearbox problems.

The Brazilian was fastest after the first sector, beating the five lower order drivers who had already set their times, but he dropped a second in the final two sectors and finished with a combined time of 3:07.693 down in 15th.

Ralf Schumacher, out tenth in the session, put a smile on team boss Tsutomu Tomita's face when he put his Toyota on top spot with an aggregate time of 3: 03.271 to set the pace for the top ten runners.

Brazilian Felipe Massa failed to shine and finished well off Schumacher's pace but de la Rosa was only one tenth away before Klien closed the gap further as he slotted into second place.

Raikkonen failed to match de la Rosa's effort and finished just behind him but Webber then shot to the top of the times by just nine thousandths of a second but Fisichella failed to live up to his Renault car's potential.

Heidfeld moved ahead of his teammate Webber to take the top spot by 0.045 seconds but Schumacher, despite a slide in the first sector, was well ahead and shot past the two Williams cars with just Trulli and Alonso left to run.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. (20) Alonso Renault (M) 3:01.902 2. (18) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 3:02.357 + 0.455 3. (19) Trulli Toyota (M) 3:02.660 + 0.758 4. (17) Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 3:03.217 + 1.315 5. (15) Webber Williams-BMW (M) 3:03.262 + 1.360 6. (10) R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 3:03.271 + 1.369 7. (13) Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 3:03.369 + 1.467 8. (12) de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 3:03.373 + 1.471 9. (14) Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 3:03.524 + 1.622 10. (16) Fisichella Renault (M) 3:03.765 + 1.863 11. (9) Button BAR-Honda (M) 3:04.348 + 2.446 12. (11) Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 3:05.202 + 3.300 13. (8) Sato BAR-Honda (M) 3:05.563 + 3.661 14. (7) Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 3:05.844 + 3.942 15. (6) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 3:07.693 + 5.791 16. (5) Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 3:07.983 + 6.081 17. (3) Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 3:09.428 + 7.526 18. (4) Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 3:10.143 + 8.241 19. (2) Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 3:10.422 + 8.520 20. (1) Freisacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 3:11.261 + 9.359 All Timing Unofficial 
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