Raikkonen claims French pole

Ferrari starting first and second in French Grand Prix

Raikkonen: On pole

Kimi Raikkonen grabbed Ferrari's 200th pole position at Magny-Cours on Saturday, edging team-mate Felipe Massa to the coveted grid slot.

Massa had dominated the first two qualifying segments. However, he wasn't able to pull off a perfect lap with a heavier fuel load in Q3.

Having already posted a lap of one minute 16.449 seconds, Raikkonen pulled into the pits before the end of his second flying lap after seeing team-mate Massa fail to beat his time.

Lewis Hamilton qualified in third place; however, the McLaren Mercedes driver will start 13th on the grid after incurring a ten-grid slot penalty at the previous race in Canada.

That means Fernando Alonso will be bumped up to third place on the grid, the Renault driver sharing the second row with Toyota's Jarno Trulli.

Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen set the fifth fastest time but, on a disastrous day for McLaren, the Finn was penalised five places for holding up Red Bull's Mark Webber.

Therefore, current World Championship leader Robert Kubica moves up two places to fifth place on the grid.


Nevertheless, after their one-two finish in Canada, qualifying was particularly disappointing for BMW Sauber, with team-mate Nick Heidfeld starting the race 11th after setting the 12th quickest time.

Webber and team-mate David Coulthard start sixth and seventh, ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock.

And, despite narrowly failing to follow team-mate Alonso into the final session, Renault's Nelson Piquet Jr. moves up to ninth place on the grid ahead of Kovalainen and Heidfeld.

Meanwhile, Germany's Nico Rosberg, who was also penalised following the Canadian Grand Prix, starts at the back for Williams after setting the 15th quickest time.

French Grand Prix, qualifying:

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1m 16.449
2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:16.490
3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 1:16.840
4. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 1:16.920
5. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1:17.037
6. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:17.233
7. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault 1:17.426
8. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 1:17.596
9. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 1:15.770
10. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren 1:16.944 *
11. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:15.786
12. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:15.816
13. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:16.693 **
14. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:16.045
15. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams - Toyota 1:16.243
16. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 1:16.306
17. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1:16.330
18. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India - Ferrari 1:16.971
19. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Ferrari 1:17.053
20. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota 1:16.235 **

* indicates five-place grid penalty
** indicates 10-place grid penalty