Alonso Takes British Pole

Alonso Takes British Pole

Fernando Alonso takes British PoleFernando Alonso has snatched pole position at Silverstone from Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher in the last seconds of the session. Michael set a good early time, but the young Spaniard nailed a glorious lap that took the number one spot away from the 7 times champion by four tenths of a second. Next, Kimi Raikkonen – who started his lap with only a handful of seconds on the clock – pipped Schumacher and demoted the German to third.

However, the drama began in the very first knockout period where British hopeful Jenson Button failed to make it through after being called into the weigh-bridge. The cars are called in randomly for a spot check, and unfortunately for Jenson, this hampered his qualifying attempts. Whilst various Formula One commentators suggested that Honda still had time for another lap, Gil de Ferran stated that there just wasn’t enough left.

The other big knockouts from the first session were Mark Webber (who had a blistering race in Monaco two weeks ago) and Jarno Trulli who suffered an engine related failure after setting only one lap.

The second phase of qualifying bought a little controversy in to the mix. Unfortuantely for UK viewers, we were denied footage of what exactly happened, but needless to say that David Coulthard is not very happy with Juan Pablo Montoya at this current moment. Christian Horner (Red Bull F1 Team Principal) has told us that David was baulked by JPM on his hot lap. Coulthard was furious as he drove down the pitlane because the Scot had apparently been courteous to JPM on his hot lap, but got “intentionally blocked in a blatent manner” when the roles were reversed. Red Bull have gone to the stewards and asked for an invesigation, so the grid may change before the start of tomorrows race.

The third phase saw the typical burning off of fuel for the first 13 minutes, and then a display of fine motor driving in the final 7. Other than the top three, it is good to Felipe Massa getting nearer the sharp end, just out-qualifying Giancarlo Fisichella and a resurgent Rubens Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota is placed one slot above Juan’s McLaren (although that could change) and the top ten is nicely round off with the two BMW Saubers of Heidfeld and Villeneuve in 9th and 10th respectively. The BMWs are running well around the British circuit and reliability issues aside, they may just spring a surprise in tomorrows British Grand Prix.

And just a quick reminder for UK viewers, the race coverage will begin at 11.05am on Sunday, as opposed to the regular Midday norm.

Image courtesy of FernandoAlonso.com, and rather fitting I thought!

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