BRITISH GP - SATURDAY - QUALIFYING SESSION 1 REPORT

Alonso blasts to pole

Fernando Alonso, British GP 2006

Fernando Alonso, British GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Fernando Alonso took pole position for the British Grand Prix with a controlled lap to see off the challenge of Michael Schumacher while Kimi Raikkonen snuck in at the last minute to bump Schumacher back to third on the grid. The track conditions were difficult for everyone with the grip improving as the session went on but with the wind changing in speed and direction. Alonso was fastest in all three of the qualifying session and seemed very confident.

Raikkonen was doing well and said he was surprised to be as quick as he was. Things were a little rushed and Raikkonen had to do his warming up lap at high speed and that may have affected his ability on the final flying lap.

Schumacher was disappointed in third place but hoped that he had less fuel on board than the Renault. Felipe Massa was two-tenths down on his team mate while Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth fastest in his Renault. Rubens Barrichello was sixth for Honda, a much better result than Jenson Button who failed to get through the first qualifying session. It was not clear why this had happened but as the fast men were out on the track Button was in the pits and was caught out. This was a disaster for Button and the team but it was a disaster shared with Williams and Toyota as Mark Webber also missed out in his Williams and Jarno Trulli suffered an engine failure in the first few minutes of the session.

The session also put paid to the hopes of Christijan Albers, Takuma Sato and Franck Montagny. The second session saw David Coulthard edged out of the top 10. He beat Nico Rosberg, Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed and Tiago Monteiro.