Raikkonen steals pole in Hungary 05 Aug 2006
Two-second penalties for both Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher set up a thrilling qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon. With the two key championship contenders eliminated before the top-ten shootout, the honours for pole position fell right at the very end to McLarens Kimi Raikkonen, whose last-gasp lap of 1m 19.599s came just as Felipe Massa looked to have bagged the first Formula One pole of his career.
The obviously disappointed Ferrari driver had upheld team honours with 1m 19.886s, but it got a little wild at times after having to slow down for Toyotas Ralf Schumacher in the pit lane and losing some heat in his tyres. It was thus the 10th pole of Raikkonens career, and the Finns second in as many races.
The Hondas of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were next up, with 1m 20.085s and 1m 20.092s respectively, but Button has a 10-place grid penalty after his Saturday morning engine failure. He will thus start 14th.
Fifth in the times went to Pedro de la Rosa with 1m 20.117s for McLaren, then came Mark Webber (1m 20.266s) for Williams, Ralf Schumacher (1m 20.759s). Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 20.924s) was the leading Renault in eighth, ahead of Jarno Trullis Toyota (1m 21.132s) and newcomer Robert Kubica (1m 22.049s), who made a highly-impressive debut for BMW Sauber, standing in for the injured Jacques Villeneuve.
Schumacher Jnr and Kubica made it through from Q2 after Schumacher and Alonso were penalised from first and second places in that session. Alonso got his penalties for his altercation with Robert Doornbos on Friday afternoon and for passing under a yellow flag; Schumacher got his after passing three cars - Alonsos, Kubicas and David Coulthards - when Saturday mornings practice session was red flagged after Buttons engine failure. Because of the severity of ignoring a red, he got two seconds penalty as well.
BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld, the Red Bulls of Coulthard and Christian Klien, plus Tiago Monteiros Midland all made it through Q2, lapping in 1m 20.623s, 1m 20.890s, 1m 21.207 and 1m23.767s respectively.
The first session weeded out the Toro Rossos (Tonio Liuzzi with 1m 22.068s and Scott Speed with 1m 20.317s); Nico Rosberg (1m 20.084s) in the Williams; Super Aguris Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto (1m 22.967s and 1m 24.016s respectively); and Christijan Albers (1m 23.146s), who also has an engine-change penalty in the second Midland.
With all the penalties applied, for Schumacher, Alonso, Button and Albers, the provisional grid thus reads: Raikkonen and Massa; Barrichello and de la Rosa; Webber and Schumacher Jnr; Fisichella and Trulli; Kubica and Heidfeld; Schumacher Snr and Coulthard; Klien and Button; Alonso and Monteiro; Liuzzi and Rosberg; Speed and Sato; Yamamoto and Albers.
This is not going to be a dull race!