Trulli Grabs Provisional Pole in Spain

Home favourite Fernando Alonso missed out on provisional pole position by just 0.016 seconds as Jarno Trulli finished fastest in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday

Trulli Grabs Provisional Pole in Spain

Trulli's lap set Toyota up for a possible first pole position but Alonso, who is chasing his fourth win in a row, did enough to leave blue and yellow flag-waving fans hopeful of more to come on race day.

The Spaniard looked set to top the times as he set out on the final lap of the session but he finished just behind Trulli, who secured the top spot with a lap time of 1:14.795.

Kimi Raikkonen, who is chasing his first win of the year with an improved McLaren this weekend, proved his team is on the pace when he finished just 0.024 seconds off the top spot in third.

And Ralf Schumacher put his Toyota up to secure fourth fastest time, 0.075 seconds behind his teammate as the top four places were closely contested.

Williams duo Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber finished fifth and sixth fastest respectively, although Heidfeld will drop 10 places after changing his engine.

World Champion Michael Schumacher's difficult times continued as his Ferrari team lost their pace from San Marino and his qualifying lap was only good enough for seventh.

Giancarlo Fisichella, who went out early in his Renault, finished down in eighth place with Rubens Barrichello, in the second Ferrari, ninth and David Coulthard completing the top ten for Red Bull Racing.

Temperatures were 24 degrees Celsius when Juan Pablo Montoya, who missed the last two races through injury, took to the track and with the unfavourable conditions of running first he could only set a time of 1:15.902.

Fisichella, who retired early at the last race in San Marino, quickly bettered Montoya's lap when he set a time three tenths faster to go top of the timesheets.

Raikkonen was the next top runner out on track and he was clearly pushing as he went slightly wide at turn two but kept the rest of the lap clean to produce a time 0.782 seconds faster than Fisichella.

Barrichello, out next, failed to better the top two drivers and slotted into third, almost a second off the pace, but he will drop 10 places on the grid after changing his engine in the morning.

Coulthard and Felipe Massa both pushed Montoya further down the order before Ralf Schumacher, who ran well in the morning practice sessions, slotted into second just 0.051 seconds behind.

Webber then set a time 0.223 seconds behind Raikkonen after running strongly in the first two sectors then Heidfeld, who will also lose 10 places on the grid, took the place by four thousandths of a second.

Trulli then stepped up the pace to finally push Raikkonen down the order to second by a narrow margin with Jacques Villeneuve unable to get into the top ten and only Schumacher and Alonso left to run.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. (15) Trulli Toyota (M) 1:14.795 2. (18) Alonso Renault (M) 1:14.811 + 0.016 3. (4) Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:14.819 + 0.024 4. (11) R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:14.870 + 0.075 5. (14) Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:15.038 + 0.243 6. (13) Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:15.042 + 0.247 7. (17) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:15.398 + 0.603 8. (2) Fisichella Renault (M) 1:15.601 + 0.806 9. (5) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:15.746 + 0.951 10. (9) Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:15.795 + 1.000 11. (10) Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:15.865 + 1.070 12. (1) Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.902 + 1.107 13. (12) Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:16.288 + 1.493 14. (16) Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:16.794 + 1.999 15. (8) Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:18.557 + 3.762 16. (7) Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:19.040 + 4.245 17. (6) Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:19.563 + 4.768 18. (3) Freisacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:20.306 + 5.511 
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