Trulli Fastest in First Qualifying - US GP

Jarno Trulli left World Championship contenders Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen bedraggled and bemused when he claimed the fastest time in Friday's first qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

Trulli Fastest in First Qualifying - US GP

Jarno Trulli left World Championship contenders Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen bedraggled and bemused when he claimed the fastest time in Friday's first qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

Heavy rain in the second half of the session left the lower order struggling to even set a time but there were no excuses for the top three drivers as Trulli mastered the Indianapolis track to set a time of 1:09.566.

That left him 0.269 seconds faster than second-placed Rubens Barrichello in the lead Ferrari as Colombian Montoya, German Michael Schumacher and Finn Raikkonen claimed fifth, eighth and ninth respectively.

Australian Mark Webber finished third in the lead Jaguar, half a second slower than Trulli, but his British teammate Justin Wilson was one of the unlucky drivers to be hampered by rain and finished ten seconds off the pace in 18th.

Ralf Schumacher, back on track after missing the Italian Grand Prix through injury, claimed the fourth fastest time as he pipped his Williams-BMW teammate Montoya, the lead title contender, by 0.150 seconds.

Scot David Coulthard ensured that the each of the three Championship challengers was outqualified by their respective teammates when he posted a sixth fastest lap to finish less than a tenth of a second slower than Montoya.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who won his first Grand Prix two races ago in Hungary, failed to match Renault teammate Trulli and finished almost a second slower in seventh position. Briton Jenson Button, of the Bridgestone-shod BAR-Honda team, completed the top ten runners behind Schumacher and Raikkonen to leave Michelin occupying seven of the top ten positions.

Schumacher went out first and although he ran wide on the exit of the first corner he bettered the pole position time of 1:10.736 that he set in 2002. But title rival Montoya immediately when 0.364 seconds faster.

Ralf Schumacher then snatched pole from Montoya by 0.150 seconds but Barrichello then bettered that with an impressive lap and Trulli, out after his Spanish Renault teammate Fernando Alonso, then went even faster.

Rain began to fall, however, as the middle order runners headed out and the remainder of the field were left to tip-toe around the slippery circuit to simply set a time.

Briton Ralph Firman, another driver returning from injury having missed the Hungarian and Italian Grands Prix, struggled in the conditions and could only set the 17th fastest lap in his Jordan.

Dutchman Jos Verstappen, of Minardi, failed to even set a time as his traction control failed and the team decided to pull him into the pits rather than complete his flying lap.

Pos Driver Team T1 T2 Time 1. (8) Trulli Renault (M) 21.617 49.868 1:09.566 2. (5) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 21.773 50.358 1:09.835 + 0.269 3. (9) Webber Jaguar Cosworth (M) 21.943 50.307 1:10.081 + 0.515 4. (4) R.Schumacher Williams BMW (M) 22.043 50.740 1:10.222 + 0.656 5. (2) Montoya Williams BMW (M) 21.929 50.846 1:10.372 + 0.806 6. (7) Coulthard McLaren Mercedes (M) 21.876 50.629 1:10.450 + 0.884 7. (6) Alonso Renault (M) 21.776 50.538 1:10.556 + 0.990 8. (1) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 22.058 51.106 1:10.736 + 1.170 9. (3) Raikkonen McLaren Mercedes (M) 22.097 50.929 1:10.756 + 1.190 10. (10) Button BAR Honda (B) 22.254 51.874 1:11.847 + 2.281 11. (12) da Matta Toyota (M) 22.724 51.915 1:11.949 + 2.383 12. (11) Fisichella Jordan Ford (B) 22.691 51.920 1:12.227 + 2.661 13. (13) Frentzen Sauber Petronas (B) 22.510 52.648 1:13.541 + 3.975 14. (14) Panis Toyota (M) 23.704 56.542 1:17.666 + 8.100 15. (16) Heidfeld Sauber Petronas (B) 24.597 56.672 1:17.768 + 8.202 16. (15) Villeneuve BAR Honda (B) 24.693 57.511 1:18.547 + 8.981 17. (17) Firman Jordan Ford (B) 24.905 57.867 1:19.383 + 9.817 18. (19) Wilson Jaguar Cosworth (M) 25.017 57.929 1:19.491 + 9.925 19. (20) Kiesa Minardi Cosworth (B) 26.169 59.865 1:21.973 +12.407 20. (18) Verstappen Minardi Cosworth (B) - - No Time Pos ----- Sector 1 ----- ----- Sector 2 ----- ----- Sector 3 ----- 1. Trulli 21.617 Trulli 28.251 Barrichello 19.477 2. Barrichello 21.773 Webber 28.364 R.Schumacher 19.482 3. Alonso 21.776 Barrichello 28.585 Montoya 19.526 4. Coulthard 21.876 R.Schumacher 28.697 M.Schumacher 19.630 5. Montoya 21.929 Coulthard 28.753 Trulli 19.698 6. Webber 21.943 Alonso 28.762 Webber 19.774 7. R.Schumacher 22.043 Raikkonen 28.832 Coulthard 19.821 8. M.Schumacher 22.058 Montoya 28.917 Raikkonen 19.827 9. Raikkonen 22.097 M.Schumacher 29.048 Button 19.973 10. Button 22.254 da Matta 29.191 Alonso 20.018 11. Frentzen 22.510 Fisichella 29.229 da Matta 20.034 12. Fisichella 22.691 Button 29.620 Fisichella 20.307 13. da Matta 22.724 Frentzen 30.138 Frentzen 20.893 14. Panis 23.704 Heidfeld 32.075 Villeneuve 21.036 15. Heidfeld 24.597 Villeneuve 32.818 Heidfeld 21.096 16. Villeneuve 24.693 Panis 32.838 Panis 21.124 17. Firman 24.905 Wilson 32.912 Firman 21.516 18. Wilson 25.017 Firman 32.962 Wilson 21.562 19. Kiesa 26.169 Kiesa 33.696 Kiesa 22.108 Top Speed: 353.9 km/h (R.Schumacher, Williams-BMW) All timing unofficial

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