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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 May, 2005, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Heidfeld charges to maiden pole
EUROPEAN GP QUALIFYING
Nick Heidfeld celebrates his pole position
1 N Heidfeld (Williams)
2 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
3 M Webber (Williams)
4 J Trulli (Toyota)
5 JP Montoya (McLaren)
6 F Alonso (Renault)
7 R Barrichello
(Ferrari)
8 R Schumacher (Toyota)
Nick Heidfeld edged out Kimi Raikkonen to claim the first pole position of his career at the European Grand Prix.

The Williams driver's lap of one minute 30.081 seconds was 0.116secs quicker than Raikkonen's time in the McLaren.

Heidfeld's team-mate Mark Webber was third, ahead of Jarno Trulli's Toyota, Juan Pablo Montoya's McLaren and Fernando Alonso's Renault.

Rubens Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella and Michael Schumacher completed the top 10.

Michael Schumacher made at least two mistakes during his flying lap, going wide out of turn 10 and failing to attack the chicane as well as he usually does.

It left the world champion on the row behind Ferrari team-mate Barrichello, when he would have expected to be several places ahead of the Brazilian.

It is the first time the grid has been decided on a Saturday this season following a change in the qualifying format.

Kimi Raikkonen in action at the Nurburgring
As long as I get a good start in the race we should be looking good to challenge for a win
Kimi Raikkonen

And Heidfeld's pole on his home Nurburgring circuit was a further boost for Williams after their double podium finish at the Monaco Grand Prix last Sunday.

But it will only become apparent during the race how much fuel the Williams drivers are carrying in relation to their rivals.

"It is fantastic to have my first pole in F1, finally, after so many years," he said.

"And this is the place I would have wanted it to happen. It is my home race and it has been a perfect day.

"I would have thought it would be tougher for us here. I didn't think we would be able to get pole."

Raikkonen, who is chasing a third straight win, will be confident he can continue to close the gap to championship leader Alonso after putting himself on the front row.

"I am pretty happy with my result as we have a strong position," the Finn said.

"I know I have a good race car and our strategy should be good.

"It is difficult to say where we are compared to the other teams in terms of fuel load.

"As long as I get a good start in the race we should be looking good to challenge for a win."

Montoya had been a match for Raikkonen until qualifying, when he ran wide in the high-speed chicane and lost 0.3secs.

The BAR team struggled on their return after a two-race ban for running an underweight car at the San Marino Grand Prix.

Jenson Button was 13th fastest after going out early on a slippery circuit, with team-mate Takuma Sato 16th.

Red Bull's David Coulthard was the best of the early runners but the Scot slipped down to 12th by the end of the session, almost two and a half seconds off the pace.

Sunday's race will begin at 1300 BST.


European Grand Prix qualifying results:
1 N Heidfeld (Ger) Williams-BMW 1:30.081
2 K Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.197
3 M Webber (Aus) Williams-BMW 1:30.368
4 J Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:30.700
5 JP Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.890
6 F Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:31.056
7 R Barrichello (Brz) Ferrari 1:31.249
8 R Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:31.392
9 G Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:31.566
10 M Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:31.585
11 F Massa (Brz) Sauber-Petronas 1:32.205
12 D Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:32.553
13 J Button (GB) BAR-Honda 1:32.594
14 V Liuzzi (Ita) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:32.642
15 J Villeneuve (Can) Sauber-Petronas 1:32.891
16 T Sato (Jpn) BAR-Honda 1:32.926
17 T Monteiro (Por) Jordan-Toyota 1:35.047
18 P Friesacher (Aut) Minardi-Cosworth 1:35.954
19 N Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan-Toyota 1:36.192
20 C Albers (Net) Minardi-Cosworth 1:36.239



WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Radio Five Live's Maurice Hamilton



SEE ALSO
Barrichello eyes Ferrari revival
28 May 05 |  Formula One
Button perplexed by lack of pace
28 May 05 |  Formula One


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