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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 April, 2005, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Raikkonen grabs provisional pole
Kimi Raikkonen
1 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
2 F Alonso (Renault)
3 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
4 M Webber (Williams)
5 J Button (BAR)
6 J Trulli (Toyota)
7 F Massa (Sauber)
8 A Wurz (McLaren)
Kimi Raikkonen has put his McLaren on provisional pole position for the San Marino Grand Prix after Saturday's first qualifying session.

The Finn's time of one minute 19.886 seconds made him the first non-Renault driver to qualify fastest this season.

Raikkonen beat Renault's Fernando Alonso by just 0.003 seconds, with Michael Schumacher's Ferrari third.

Mark Webber was fourth for Williams and Jenson Button fifth in the BAR, with David Coulthard 14th for Red Bull.

World champion Schumacher sent out an early message to his rivals with a time of 1:20.260 in the new Ferrari despite going out fifth following his retirement in Bahrain.

Button and Webber both went close, but it was left to Raikkonen to end McLaren's poor run in qualifying with a smooth and aggressive lap around Imola.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli had to settle for sixth as he chased Raikkonen's time.

We are competitive and still fighting for pole position
Renault's Fernando Alonso
And championship leader Alonso came up just short as he tried to protect Renault's domination of qualifying sessions this season.

"It will be close between me and him [Alonso] tomorrow and we will see what we can do," said Raikkonen.

"The car is much better than it was in Bahrain and it seems to suit this circuit.

"The speed is good and in the race we are usually very good so we should be in a very good position."

Alonso said: "We did our job but the weekend is difficult for us and we knew that.

"We are there, we are second but we are competitive and still fighting for pole position."

Schumacher said he was confident Ferrari had solved the problems they had been experiencing with the durability of their tyres in races.

Alonso's Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was well off the pace after losing the back end of his car in the second Rivazza corner.

The Italian split the Red Bulls of Coulthard and Vitantonio Liuzzi, who is making his F1 race debut this weekend, to finish down in 15th place.

There was no sign of a change in fortunes for Minardi as their new car failed to impress.

Dutchman Christijan Albers was more than six seconds off the pace and team-mate Patrick Friesacher finished even further adrift.

Follow live coverage of the San Marino Grand Prix on the BBC Sport website. Second qualifying is at 0900 BST on Sunday, with the race following at 1300.


First qualifying final positions:
1 K Raikkonen (McLaren) 1:19.886
2 F Alonso (Renault) 1:19.889
3 M Schumacher (Ferrari) 1:20.260
4 M Webber (Williams) 1:20.442
5 J Button (BAR) 1:20.464
6 J Trulli (Toyota) 1:20.492
7 F Massa (Sauber) 1:20.593
8 A Wurz (McLaren) 1:20.632
9 N Heidfeld (Williams) 1:20.807
10 T Sato (BAR) 1:20.851
11 R Barrichello (Ferrari) 1:20.892
12 R Schumacher (Toyota) 1:20.994
13 J Villeneuve (Sauber) 1:20.999
14 D Coulthard (Red Bull) 1:21.632
15 G Fisichella (Renault) 1:21.708
16 V Liuzzi (Red Bull) 1:21.804
17 N Karthikeyan (Jordan) 1:23.123
18 T Monteiro (Jordan) 1:25.100
19 C Albers (Minardi) 1:25.921
20 P Friesacher (Minardi) 1:26.484



SEE ALSO
Red Bull deny Coulthard exit talk
22 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Schumacher open to new contract
22 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Button on form in Imola practice
22 Apr 05 |  Formula One
McLaren still cautious on Montoya
22 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Rosberg gets Williams testing job
22 Apr 05 |  Formula One
Minardi pinning hopes on new car
22 Apr 05 |  Formula One


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