Alonso Retains Pole Position - Malaysia

Fernando Alonso boosted his chances of victory in the second race of the year when he finished fastest in Sunday's second qualifying to claim pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Alonso Retains Pole Position - Malaysia

Spaniard Alonso, who finished third in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, kept his cool to set an aggregate time of 3:07.672 and stay ahead of chasing Toyota driver Jarno Trulli.

Italian Trulli, who was teammate to Alonso last year, finished 0.253 seconds behind the Renault driver to claim a front-row slot for Toyota but there are question marks over his strategy and he may have to stop early in the race.

Giancarlo Fisichella, in the second Renault, failed to climb ahead of Trulli and had to settle for third place on the grid while Williams driver Mark Webber was delighted to secure fourth place.

Ralf Schumacher, in the second Toyota, finished fifth with Kimi Raikkonen sixth in his McLaren and Christian Klien and David Coulthard made it an all Red Bull Racing fourth row when they finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Jenson Button, of BAR-Honda, and Nick Heidfeld, in the second Williams, completed the top ten while World Champion Michael Schumacher finished down in 13th, one place behind Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello.

Temperatures rose to 36 degrees before the start of the session and with half the running gone Klien was on top with Coulthard second in a Red Bull one-two. Button moved into third but Webber then moved to the top.

Ralf Schumacher moved ahead after his lap but slotted into second and Raikkonen failed to put in a strong lap and had to slot into third behind Webber as the lead runners started to head out in the latter part of the session.

Fisichella then went top with a time of 3.08.448 then Trulli finished the session half a second faster than Fisichella to claim the pole position but Alonso then went faster to finish on top of the pile.

Pos       Driver        Team                   Team
 1.  (20) Alonso        Renault           (M)  3:07.672    
 2.  (19) Trulli        Toyota            (M)  3:07.925  +  0.253
 3.  (18) Fisichella    Renault           (M)  3:08.448  +  0.776
 4.  (15) Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  3:08.904  +  1.232
 5.  (16) R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  3:09.007  +  1.335
 6.  (17) Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  3:09.483  +  1.811
 7.  (11) Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  3:09.589  +  1.917
 8.  (10) Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  3:09.700  +  2.028
 9.  (12) Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  3:09.832  +  2.160
10.  (13) Heidfeld      Williams-BMW      (M)  3:09.917  +  2.245
11.  (14) Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  3:10.090  +  2.418
12.   (7) Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  3:11.502  +  3.830
13.   (9) M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  3:11.633  +  3.961
14.   (8) Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  3:11.884  +  4.212
15.   (6) Davidson      BAR-Honda         (M)  3:11.890  +  4.218
16.   (5) Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  3:12.995  +  5.323
17.   (4) Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  3:17.656  +  9.984
18.   (3) Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  3:17.962  + 10.290
19.   (2) Freisacher    Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  3:21.186  + 13.514
20.   (1) Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  3:23.001  + 15.329

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