Alonso Takes Dominant Pole in Silverstone

Fernando Alonso secured his second consecutive pole position on Saturday as Jenson Button capitalised on Kimi Raikkonen's penalty to claim his first ever British Grand Prix front row start

Alonso Takes Dominant Pole in Silverstone

Spaniard Alonso, who leads Raikkonen by 24 points, put in a stunning lap in his Renault to beat Raikkonen to top spot in the session as sunshine broke through the clouds at Silverstone.

Finn Raikkonen, the original race favourite, finished second but will have to start from 12th on the grid after he dropped 10 positions as penalty for an engine change made on his McLaren on Saturday morning.

Raikkonen had parked up at Club corner just seven minutes into the second morning practice session and his team confirmed an oil pump failure had caused the stoppage and forced them to change the engine.

Button delighted his home fans as he secured himself a front row grid position for only the second time this season with a strong lap in his BAR-Honda to set himself up for a possible podium finish.

McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Jarno Trulli, of Toyota, will start from the second row of the grid after finishing fourth and fifth fastest respectively.

Rubens Barrichello outqualified teammate Michael Schumacher to put his Ferrari fifth on the grid with the sixth fastest time of the session, and he will start alongside Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, the other Renault driver.

Japanese driver Takuma Sato finished eighth fastest in the second BAR-Honda with German Ralf Schumacher ninth for Toyota and Schumacher completing the top ten runners in his Ferrari.

Raikkonen's engine change, which came after a failure in morning practice, was a bitter blow for Raikkonen, whose hopes of victory in France were also damaged by engine failure on Friday.

The Championship challenger still has the pace to be a strong contender but he will have to fight his way through the field quickly to secure the win he was expected to achieve.

Tiago Monteiro, the Portuguese Jordan driver, went out for an installation lap but chose to pull into the pits without setting a time after suffering an engine failure in morning practice.

Montoya, whose best qualifying effort so far this year was a fifth at the Nurburgring and in Canada, set the early pace with a time of 1:20.382, which eclipsed initial runner Christian Klien's benchmark effort by 1.825 seconds.

The Williams pair of Webber and Heidfeld pushed Klien down the order but remained more than one-and-a-half seconds behind then Sato moved to within eight tenths of a second of Montoya's time with ten runners gone.

Coulthard split the two Williams cars then Barrichello, out 12th, closed the gap to Montoya to 0.524 before Fisichella slotted in just behind in third with five drivers left to run.

Trulli then finished just 0.077 seconds off Montoya's pace to slot into second then Button came out and, after running slow in the first sector, he put in two strong sectors to climb to the top to a cacophony of claxon horns.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. (20) Alonso Renault (M) 1:19.905 2. (19) Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:19.932 + 0.027 3. (17) Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:20.207 + 0.302 4. (5) Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.382 + 0.477 5. (16) Trulli Toyota (M) 1:20.459 + 0.554 6. (12) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:20.906 + 1.001 7. (15) Fisichella Renault (M) 1:21.010 + 1.105 8. (10) Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:21.114 + 1.209 9. (14) R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:21.191 + 1.286 10. (18) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:21.275 + 1.370 11. (13) Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:21.352 + 1.447 12. (9) Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:21.997 + 2.092 13. (11) Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:22.108 + 2.203 14. (7) Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:22.117 + 2.212 15. (1) Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:22.207 + 2.302 16. (2) Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:22.495 + 2.590 17. (6) Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:23.583 + 3.678 18. (4) Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:24.576 + 4.671 19. (3) Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.566 + 5.661 20. (8) Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) No Time Provisional Grid: 1. Alonso Renault 2. Button BAR-Honda 3. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 4. Trulli Toyota 5. Barrichello Ferrari 6. Fisichella Renault 7. Sato BAR-Honda 8. R.Schumacher Toyota 9. M.Schumacher Ferrari 10. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas 11. Webber Williams-BMW 12. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes 13. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth 14. Heidfeld Williams-BMW 15. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth 16. Massa Sauber-Petronas 17. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota 18. Albers Minardi-Cosworth 19. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Will Gray
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