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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Massa earns maiden pole in Turkey
Turkish Grand Prix, 27 August, 1300 BST

Ferrari's Felipe Massa celebrates taking pole
1 F Massa (Ferrari)
2 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
3 F Alonso (Renault)
4 G Fisichella (Renault)
5 N Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber)
6 J Button (Honda)
7 K Raikkonen (McLaren)
8 R Kubica (BMW-Sauber)

Ferrari's Felipe Massa claimed his first Formula One pole after a stunning late lap in qualifying for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

Massa clocked one minute 26.907 seconds to push team-mate and title challenger Michael Schumacher into second.

Renault's defending champion Fernando Alonso, 10 points ahead of Schumacher in the title race, starts from third.

Honda's Jenson Button was seventh but will start from sixth after Ralf Schumacher was demoted 10 places.

Michael Schumacher had blitzed the field in the second period of qualifying as he went one second clear with a flying lap of 1:25.850.

But the German was forced to abort a meaningful attempt to record a fast lap in the final session when he ran wide on Turn One.

It didn't go exactly to plan - I had a good car but couldn't translate the performance

Michael Schumacher

But, despite driving more conservatively, Schumacher still managed to clock 1:27.284 to move up to provisional pole before an exhilarating last lap saw him eclipsed by Massa.

Alonso, Button, Giancarlo Fisichella and Massa all poured onto the winding Istanbul Park circuit in a last-gasp bid to take pole but it was the Brazilian who prevailed.

Schumacher held on for second to seal the fourth Ferrari cleansweep of the front row this season - crucial as they chase down Renault in both the drivers and constructors standings.

"It is a fantastic moment for me," said Massa. "I'm happy and surprised and this first pole will always be important.

"I was able to put my lap together and the whole team is doing a great job."

Schumacher conceded: "It didn't go exactly to plan. I had a good car but couldn't translate all the performance."

The Renault duo never really hit peak form in stifling conditions in Turkey and will be satisfied to line up together on the second row.

We believe more in our pace for the race

Renault's Fernando Alonso

Alonso and Fisichella, who was fourth fastest, will be prepared for a tactical race from the two Ferraris.

With a win so vital to Schumacher's hunt for an eighth world title, Massa is likely to be assigned the task of keeping his rivals at bay while allowing Schumacher to assume the lead.

"We are looking to fight for the championship in whatever championship we are trying to win," said Massa. "I will help the team."

Nonetheless, Alonso remained optimistic ahead of the race. "We believe more in our pace for the race," he said.

"The Ferrari and Bridgestone package was extremely quick for one timed lap and we did the maximum we could."

A consistent Ralf Schumacher finished fifth behind the front-runners but he was penalised for changing his Toyota engine ahead of qualifying and dropped back to 15th.

The same fate was handed out to Midland's Christijan Albers, who starts from the back of the grid.

Button was seeking to build on his maiden victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before the three-week break, but struggled in the early stages.

Some adjustments to his car and tyres spurred a massive improvement and he starts sixth ahead of McLaren Kimi Raikkonen.

"We are a little further back than we expected," Button. "In the earlier sessions, the car was very strong and on a long run no-one was quicker.

"I think we can still have a good race. Our pace is good and we can have a decent race with the Renaults."

Raikkonen won last year's race but his car looked heavy and he will have to vastly improve if he is to end his wait for a first win this season.

David Coulthard was also off-form in his Red Bull and the Scot will start back in 16th after going out in the first session.

"I never got my laps," said Coulthard. "The first was messy and I lost grip on the second."

Grid positions for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix

1. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1 minute, 26.907 seconds
2. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 1:27.284
3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 1:27.321
4. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault 1:27.564
5. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:27.785
6. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 1:27.790
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) McLaren 1:27.866
8. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1:28.167
9. Mark Webber (Australia) Williams 1:29.436
10. Christian Klien (Austria) RedBull 1:27.852
11. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) McLaren 1:27.897
12. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 1:27.973
13. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1:28.257
14. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams 1:28.386
15. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota 1:27.569 *
16. David Coulthard (Britain) Red Bull 1:29.136
17. Scott Speed (U.S.) Toro Rosso 1:29.158
18. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso 1:29.250
19. Tiago Monteiro (Portugal) MF1 1:29.901
20. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) Super Aguri 1:30.607
21. Takuma Sato (Japan) Super Aguri 1:30.850
22. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) MF1 1:28.639*

* penalised 10 places on the grid for engine change

F1 qualifying as it happened
26 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Rookie Vettel quickest in Turkey
25 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Alonso hopes hit by court ruling
23 Aug 06 |  Formula One


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