Sun, May 13, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Massa earns Ferrari pole position for Spanish GP

AGENCIES , BARCELONA

Brazilian Felipe Massa took pole position for today's Spanish Formula One Grand Prix dashing Fernando Alonso's hopes of starting at the front of the grid in his home race yesterday.

The Brazilian's Ferrari lapped the Circuit de Catalunya, just outside Barcelona, three hundredths of a second quicker than McLaren's double world champion in the dying seconds of the final qualifying session.

Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest and shares the second row with Alonso's team mate, British rookie Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton are all level at the top of the standings on 22 points.

Hamilton, 22, is the first driver in Formula One history to finish the first three races of his world championship career on the podium.

The pole was Massa's third in a row and sixth of his career. He won the last race in Bahrain last month and is five points adrift of the leading trio.

Massa timed at 1 minute, 21.421 seconds on the 4.627km Circuit de Catalunya course.

"Three pole positions in a row, we're really quick and have a great car," Massa said.

"We've been very competitive with McLaren the whole weekend so we're looking forward to having an important and good race," he said.

Two-time defending world champion Alonso finished second for the third time this year. He became the first Spaniard to win the Spanish GP after starting from pole last year.

"It's been a really good weekend for us with the car performing well so to be on front row reflects the competitive package we've put together," Alonso said.

"Yesterday and today we saw a really close fight and this qualifying is another confirmation between how tight things are between the McLaren and Ferrari teams," he said.

McLaren leads the constructors' standings with 44 points, five more than Ferrari.

Today's race is 66 laps.

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