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 All Timing Unofficial 
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