Montoya Leads McLaren Front Row in Spa

Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen secured the first all-McLaren front row of the season as the Colombian narrowly beat the Finn to pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday

Montoya Leads McLaren Front Row in Spa

Finn Raikkonen, who is chasing down a 27-point deficit to Renault driver Fernando Alonso, had set the leading time but Montoya raced ahead on the final run of the session.

Montoya's time of 1:46.391 put him just 0.049 seconds ahead of Raikkonen as the sun returned to Spa and fears eased after a washout day of heavy rain left drivers concerned about the race actually going ahead.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella finished third fastest in the session but will be forced to drop ten places on the grid having had the engine in his Renault changed ahead of the qualifying session.

Italian Jarno Trulli finished fourth fastest for Toyota, just ahead of fifth-placed Spaniard Alonso, the World Championship leader, with the second Toyota of German Ralf Schumacher in sixth place.

World Champion German Michael Schumacher, who had prayed for rain to even the field this weekend, still looked happy in the sunshine as he secured seventh place finish but was more than a second off the pace of the McLarens.

Brazilian Felipe Massa finished eighth for Sauber with Briton Jenson Button ninth for BAR-Honda and Australian Mark Webber closing out the top ten in his Williams with Takuma Sato completing the top ten on the grid for BAR.

The early morning blue skies had been covered by cloud by the time the first driver out on track, Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan, set a benchmark time but his effort was soon eclipsed by the two Dutch Minardi drivers.

Victory in the battle between the backmarker pair, in what is the closest race to their home country, went to Robert Doornbos, who went out after Albers and beat him by just six hundredths of a second.

Sato was the first driver from a top team to set a time in his BAR-Honda but that was soon beaten by Mark Webber, of Williams, but then World Champion Michael Schumacher, the 11th car on track, went to the top.

Ralf Schumacher then put the Toyota ahead of the field by just 0.075 seconds then Trulli moved ahead by eight tenths of a second with an impressive lap as umbrellas rose in the stands with spots of rain starting to fall.

The rain stayed away and Raikkonen was out next, moving to the top of the times and none of the other runners could beat him before Montoya left him disappointed by knocking him down to second.

Pos       Driver        Team                   Time
 1.  (20) Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:46.391
 2.  (17) Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:46.440 + 0.049
 3.  (18) Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:46.497 + 0.106
 4.  (16) Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:46.596 + 0.205
 5.  (19) Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:46.760 + 0.369
 6.  (15) R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:47.401 + 1.010
 7.  (11) M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:47.476 + 1.085
 8.  (12) Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:47.867 + 1.476
 9.  (13) Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:47.978 + 1.587
10.   (7) Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:48.071 + 1.680
11.   (5) Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:48.353 + 1.962
12.   (6) Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:48.508 + 2.117
13.   (9) Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  1:48.550 + 2.159
14.  (10) Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:48.889 + 2.498
15.  (14) Pizzonia      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:48.898 + 2.507
16.   (8) Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:48.994 + 2.603
17.   (3) Doornbos      Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:49.779 + 3.388
18.   (1) Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:49.842 + 3.451
19.   (4) Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:51.498 + 5.107
20.   (2) Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:51.675 + 5.284


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