Raikkonen Grabs Provisional Imola Pole

Kimi Raikkonen narrowly held off World Championship leader Fernando Alonso to claim the fastest time in Saturday's first qualifying session for the San Marino Grand Prix

Raikkonen Grabs Provisional Imola Pole

Raikkonen, who finished third at the last race in Bahrain, set a time of 1:19.886 late in the session to push Michael Schumacher down to second and Alonso, the last driver out, could not better his time.

Alonso has won the last two races from pole position and he will be in with a strong chance of securing a third top spot after setting a time just 0.003 seconds slower than Raikkonen to claim second.

Schumacher, who qualified on the front row for the last race in Bahrain, led for most of the session after going out early but he was forced to settle for third after being bumped down the order.

His World Champion Ferrari team have struggled in the first three races and are hoping for a stronger performance in this weekend's event after undertaking a mammoth testing stint in the last three weeks.

Mark Webber finished fourth for Williams but was more than half a second off the lead pace and last year's pole position winner Jenson Button, boosted by a much-improved BAR-Honda this weekend, finished fifth.

Italian Jarno Trulli, of Toyota, finished sixth fastest after a disappointing run and Brazilian Felipe Massa, of Sauber, claimed seventh place.

Alex Wurz, who is deputising for the injured Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend, managed eighth fastest time, 0.746 seconds off the pace of his session-leading teammate Raikkonen.

German Nick Heidfeld made it two Williams drivers in the top ten when he slotted into ninth place and BAR-Honda driver Takuma Sato, of Japan, completed the top ten positions.

Minardi suffered from limited running with their new PS05 car leaving Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher to settle for the bottom two places once again, with the latter more than six seconds off the pace.

Giancarlo Fisichella was one of the first drivers out but made a mistake on his lap that cost him time and Michael Schumacher was the early pace setter with a time of 1:20.260, pushing early leader Wurz down to second.

Button then demoted Wurz further as he set a time 0.204 seconds slower than Schumacher and Barrichello could not get close to his teammate, finishing 0.632 seconds off his pace.

Former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve finished within eight tenths of a second of Schumacher but still lost out to Massa, who slotted into third, 0.333 seconds off the lead pace.

Webber then slotted into second, 0.182 seconds off Schumacher's pace and almost four tenths faster than teammate Nick Heidfeld, before Raikkonen shot ahead of Schumacher with just Trulli and Alonso left to run.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. (18) Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:19.886 2. (20) Alonso Renault (M) 1:19.889 + 0.003 3. (5) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:20.260 + 0.374 4. (16) Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:20.442 + 0.556 5. (8) Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:20.464 + 0.578 6. (19) Trulli Toyota (M) 1:20.492 + 0.606 7. (15) Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:20.593 + 0.707 8. (2) Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:20.632 + 0.746 9. (6) Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:20.807 + 0.921 10. (7) Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:20.851 + 0.965 11. (13) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:20.892 + 1.006 12. (17) R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:20.994 + 1.108 13. (11) Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:20.999 + 1.113 14. (14) Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:21.632 + 1.746 15. (4) Fisichella Renault (M) 1:21.708 + 1.822 16. (1) Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:21.804 + 1.918 17. (3) Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:23.123 + 3.237 18. (12) Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:25.100 + 5.214 19. (9) Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.921 + 6.035 20. (10) Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:26.484 + 6.598 All Timing Unofficial 
shares
comments
Button Surprised by Ferrari's Pace
Previous article

Button Surprised by Ferrari's Pace

Next article

Alonso Targets Pole, Victory

Alonso Targets Pole, Victory
The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight  Plus

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight 

With the team’s founder now retired and a new boss at the helm, change was coming to Brabham – change that would shape the future of Formula 1. In the third part of our four-part history of Brabham, DAMIEN SMITH examines the effect Bernie Ecclestone had on the team

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022