Renault Front Row in Qualifying - Malaysian GP

Renault claimed a surprise one-two in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday as young Spaniard Fernando Alonso landed a maiden pole position in an unexpected outcome to the session.

Renault Front Row in Qualifying - Malaysian GP

Renault claimed a surprise one-two in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday as young Spaniard Fernando Alonso landed a maiden pole position in an unexpected outcome to the session.

Alonso, in only his second race for the team, produced a perfect lap to take pole from teammate Jarno Trulli to continue Renault's impressive weekend and prove Formula One's regulations have shook up the grid.

The Spaniard set the pace with a best lap time of 1:37.044 - almost two-tenths of a second ahead of Trulli.

World Champion Michael Schumacher, last to qualify, had been on course to challenge for pole only to lose time in the closing stages of the lap as temperatures continued to drop at Sepang.

The German's Ferrari team had worked on his car throughout the hour in a bid to cure a gearbox problem caused by his spin in the opening practice session on Saturday morning.

Australian Grand Prix winner David Coulthard was unable to overhaul the Renault pair as well on his qualifying lap - although the teams could be running on differing fuel loads - and will start from fourth place.

Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello ended almost half a second down on the Renault of Alonso and will start from fifth place, with Sauber's Nick Heidfeld joining him on the third row of the grid.

Kimi Raikkonen, quickest in practice for McLaren, was forced to settle for seventh place after getting sideways under braking at Sepang's hairpin, but Juan Pablo Montoya, the next man on track, was unable to better the Finn and qualified eighth for Williams-BMW.

Briton Jenson Button, involved in a spat with BAR-Honda teammate Jacques Villeneuve all weekend, did his talking on the track as he outqualified the Canadian in claiming ninth place.

Toyota driver Olivier Panis had held provisional pole from teammate Cristiano da Matta in the early stages of the session before the big guns came out, but the pair - seperated by just three-thousandths of a second - will occupy 10th and 11th on the grid.

Da Matta, the reigning CART champion, started the qualifying session in the spare car after suffering clutch problems during the warm-up period.

BAR-Honda's Villeneuve made a mistake during his run and he will start 12th on the grid behind teammate Button, with Sauber's Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jordan driver Giancarlo Fisichella behind him.

Antonio Pizzonia, first on the track after failing to set a time on Friday, qualified 15th after a relatively faultless lap, with Jaguar teammate Mark Webber marginally slower and a place further back as a result. This was the first time Webber was outqualified by a teammate, since he made his debut in Formula One last year.

Last year's Sepang winner Ralf Schumacher, who disappointed in Friday's qualifying, struggled again and will start a lowly 17th on the grid as his miserable weekend continued.

Minardi drivers Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson completed their first Saturday qualifying session of the season after deliberately failing to take part in Australia and claimed 18th and 19th on the grid respectively.

Jordan's Ralph Firman will start from the back of the grid after opting to carry a heavy fuel load in qualifying, which left him three-tenths adrift of the Minardi pair.

Pos Driver Team T1 T2 Time 1. (11) Alonso Renault (M) 24.892 57.425 1:37.044 2. (15) Trulli Renault (M) 24.934 57.690 1:37.217 + 0.173 3. (20) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 24.932 57.439 1:37.393 + 0.349 4. (16) Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes (M) 24.869 57.594 1:37.454 + 0.410 5. (19) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 24.944 57.572 1:37.579 + 0.535 6. (14) Heidfeld Sauber-Petronas (B) 24.919 57.674 1:37.766 + 0.722 7. (17) Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 24.991 57.805 1:37.858 + 0.814 8. (18) Montoya Williams-BMW (M) 25.037 57.665 1:37.974 + 0.930 9. (12) Button BAR-Honda (B) 25.083 57.853 1:38.073 + 1.029 10. (7) Panis Toyota (M) 24.970 58.154 1:38.094 + 1.050 11. (10) da Matta Toyota (M) 25.104 58.127 1:38.097 + 1.053 12. (6) Villeneuve BAR-Honda (B) 24.965 58.031 1:38.289 + 1.245 13. (13) Frentzen Sauber-Petronas (B) 24.990 57.939 1:38.291 + 1.247 14. (9) Fisichella Jordan-Ford (B) 25.205 57.940 1:38.416 + 1.372 15. (1) Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 25.196 58.080 1:38.516 + 1.472 16. (5) Webber Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 25.445 58.137 1:38.624 + 1.580 17. (8) R.Schumacher Williams-BMW (M) 25.098 58.496 1:38.789 + 1.745 18. (3) Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth (B) 25.273 59.472 1:40.417 + 3.373 19. (2) Wilson Minardi-Cosworth (B) 25.507 59.559 1:40.599 + 3.555 20. (4) Firman Jordan-Ford (B) 25.429 59.344 1:40.910 + 3.866 Pos ----- Sector 1 ----- ----- Sector 2 ----- ----- Sector 3 ----- 1. Coulthard 24.869 M.Schumacher 32.507 Trulli 39.527 2. Alonso 24.892 Alonso 32.533 Alonso 39.619 3. Heidfeld 24.919 Barrichello 32.628 Coulthard 39.860 4. M.Schumacher 24.932 Montoya 32.628 Panis 39.940 5. Trulli 24.934 Webber 32.692 M.Schumacher 39.954 6. Barrichello 24.944 Coulthard 32.725 da Matta 39.970 7. Villeneuve 24.965 Fisichella 32.735 Barrichello 40.007 8. Panis 24.970 Heidfeld 32.755 Raikkonen 40.053 9. Frentzen 24.990 Trulli 32.756 Heidfeld 40.092 10. Raikkonen 24.991 Button 32.770 Button 40.220 11. Montoya 25.037 Raikkonen 32.814 Villeneuve 40.258 12. Button 25.083 Pizzonia 32.884 R.Schumacher 40.293 13. R.Schumacher 25.098 Frentzen 32.949 Montoya 40.309 14. da Matta 25.104 da Matta 33.023 Frentzen 40.352 15. Pizzonia 25.196 Villeneuve 33.066 Pizzonia 40.436 16. Fisichella 25.205 Panis 33.184 Fisichella 40.476 17. Verstappen 25.273 R.Schumacher 33.398 Webber 40.487 18. Firman 25.429 Firman 33.915 Verstappen 40.945 19. Webber 25.445 Wilson 34.052 Wilson 41.040 20. Wilson 25.507 Verstappen 34.199 Firman 41.566 Top Speed: 301.6 (Barrichello, Ferrari) All Timing Unofficial

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