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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 March 2006, 07:06 GMT
Fisichella beats Button to pole
Malaysian Grand Prix, 19 March. Start: 0700 GMT

QUALIFYING TIMES
Giancarlo Fisichella celebrates pole position in Malaysia
1 G Fisichella 1:33.840
2 J Button 1:33.986
3 N Rosberg 1:34.626
4 M Schumacher 1:34.668*
5 M Webber 1:34.672
6 J Montoya 1:34.916
* Schumacher is demoted 10 places for changing his engine
Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella took pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Jenson Button's Honda.

Fisichella set a time of one minute 33.840 seconds at the Sepang track to beat the Englishman by 0.146secs.

Rookie Nico Rosberg followed up his impressive debut in Bahrain last week with third in his Williams.

Michael Schumacher was fourth fastest but will be demoted 10 grid places for changing his engine. World champion Fernando Alonso was eighth fastest.

However, the Spaniard will start seventh on the grid because of Schumacher's demotion, which also promoted Australia's Mark Webber on to an all-Williams second row alongside Rosberg.

The McLarens of Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen will start on row three.

We didn't expect front row. The team turned the car around overnight
Jenson Button
Scotland's David Coulthard failed to make the final qualifying session and will start 10th on the grid in his Red Bull.

Ralf Schumacher pulled over six minutes into the final session with his engine in flames to continue a poor start to the season for Toyota.

Italy's Fisichella said: "The car was just fantastic. It's a great answer after the last race when we made a big mistake. We know what the problem was and it should not happen again."

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher was demoted to 14th following an engine change
And Fisichella said of the heat, which reached 50C on the track: "It is really tough. But physically, mentally I feel all right. It is a tough race but it will be the same for everyone."

Button, still looking for his first win after 101 Grands Prix, said: "This is great for us. We didn't expect front row until the first session when the car came alive. The team turned the car around overnight."

Alonso, who won the season opener in Bahrain, said: "'Fisico' showed what the car can do at this circuit and I should have been up there as well.

"We had a problem with the fuel rig before the final part of qualifying and I didn't have the performance on my lap with the new tyres at the end.

"I am not actually in too bad a position. The package feels good and we are consistent with our pace, so I am not ruling anything out for Sunday."

The fuel-rig problem means Renault were not able to put into Alonso's fuel the amount of fuel they wanted for the start of the race - teams are not allowed to refuel between qualifying and race.


Qualifying times and grid positions for the Malaysian Grand Prix:

1. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault one minute 33.840 seconds
2. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:33.986
3. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 1:34.626
4. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:34.686
(Will start 14th on the grid after changing his engine)
5. Mark Webber (Aus) Williams 1:34.672
6. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.916
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.983
8. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:35.747
9. Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull 1:38.715
10. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota no time
11. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull 1:34.614*
12. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1:34.683*
13. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:34.702*
14. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BMW-Sauber 1:34.752*
15. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW-Sauber 1:34.783*
16. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari no time*
17. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso 1:36.297**
18. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso 1:36.581**
19. Christijan Albers (Ned) Midland 1:37.426**
20. Tiago Monteiro (Por) Midland 1:37.819**
21. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri 1:39.011**
22. Yuji Ide (Jpn) Super Aguri 1:40.720**

* = time set in second 15-minute elimination session
** = time set in first 15-minute elimination session




WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: Fisichella beats Button to Malaysia pole



SEE ALSO
Malaysia qualifying as it happened
18 Mar 06 |  Formula One
Massa falls foul of engine rule
16 Mar 06 |  Formula One
Alonso beats Schumacher in opener
12 Mar 06 |  Formula One


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