MONACO GP - SATURDAY - QUALIFYING SESSION 1 REPORT

Raikkonen on pole at Monaco

Kimi Raikkonen, Monaco GP 2005

Kimi Raikkonen, Monaco GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

Kimi Raikkonen grabbed provisional pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix with an impressive lap of 1m13.644s, which was nearly half a second faster than the best effort by Fernando Alonso's Renault. Mark Webber was third, showing once again that the Williams is quick in qualifying trim. Alonso and Raikkonen were the last men to run in the session and so provided an exciting show for spectators and TV viewers. The session was disrupted when Ralf Schumacher shunted his Toyota into the wall at Tabac, clipping the wall on the left side of the track as he went into the corner and then being launched across the road into the right-hand wall. The amount of clean up needed suggested that the final three cars would not go faster but it did not turn out like that. Jarno Trulli in the second Toyota was the first runner after the shunt and he was a good way from the pace of Webber, the fastest man before the shunt but Fernando Alonso was able to push hard and set a best lap of 1m14.125s, which was four-tenths faster than Webber. That threw down the gauntlet for Raikkonen and his lap was an impressive one and he stopped the clocks at 1m13.644s, giving him an impressive margin over the others.

"It is a good gap," said Kimi. "It is a little bit surprising, but the circuit was a bit funny because of the oil. May be it's not a complete picture but I am happy with it!"

Alonso said that he had done as much as was possible with the car.

"I took the maximum but at Tabas I had to take a different line and I was at maximum throttle and in that situation you have to close your eyes a bit and risk it. It was very difficult in that particular corner. I did not have any information and I tried to avoid the dirty bits. I don't think I lost that much time."

Behind Webber there was Giancarlo Fisichella in the second Renault, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya in the second McLaren. Then came Nick Heidfeld, Trulli, David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve.

The session proved to be a difficult one for Ferrari with Rubens Barrichello 10th and Michael Schumacher 11th, the two men obviously struggling with their tyres.

And there was a surprise down the back where the two Minardis outqualified the two Jordans.

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