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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 May, 2003, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Schumacher hails Alonso
Fernando Alonso
Alonso is impressing the best

Michael Schumacher has paid tribute to the abilities of Renault driver Fernando Alonso, the only man within half a second of the Ferraris in qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso was third on the grid - 0.471secs behind Schumacher's pole position time and nearly 0.4secs ahead of Trulli.

It was another impressive performance from the 21-year-old Spaniard, who has been one of the stars of the season so far in only his second year in F1.

"Fernando is doing an outstanding job, but then I thought he did that with Minardi [in 2001]," said Schumacher. "He has consistently improved and shown his capabilities."

Alonso and Renault team-mate Jarno Trulli had gone into the session with high hopes of repeating their one-two from Malaysia, but had to be content with outpacing rivals McLaren and Williams.

Alonso, who has finished third twice already this season, said: "The feeling is very special here in Barcelona to be fighting with the top teams. Tomorrow we have a very good chance to score many points."




VOTE RESULTS
Michael Schumacher
 73.21% 
Kimi Raikkonen
 10.97% 
Fernando Alonso
 9.58% 
Rubens Barrichello
 6.24% 
6025 Votes Cast
Who will win the Spanish GP?

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