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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 June 2007, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
French GP qualifying as it happened
Final qualifying result:

1 Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari

2 Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren

3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari

4 Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber

5 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault

6 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault

7 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber

8 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)

By Sam Lyon

1400: Felipe Massa snatches pole position for Ferrari, with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton unable to make up the lost time in the early sections and coming home second fastest. Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica make up the second row.

The Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen finished fifth and sixth respectively.

The big news of the day, though, is that Fernando Alonso's engine problems, which apparently might be to do with his gearbox, mean he will start, at best, in 10th. However, the Spaniard could be relegated to 20th if he needs an engine change.

1358: Fernando Alonso remains in the pits with engine problems and his qualifying looks almost certainly over. Lewis Hamilton emerges with new tyres for the final couple of minutes. One last charge for the Briton, who is losing time in the first and second sectors.

1356: Hamilton betters Raikkonen with his first lap on the new tyres but Felipe Massa beats the pair to lead with just three minutes remaining.

1353: The Ferraris come in for a tyre change - the softer, faster tyres. This will be where the qualifying positions will be decided.

1351: Kimi Raikkonen is out in front for the first time in practice with an early lap of 1:16.173.

1347: The Ferraris head out in front, while Lewis Hamilton allows Fernando Alonso to pass out in front of him with the Spaniard heading straight into the pits. Word is it might be a technical problem... the McLaren team were not expecting him. That could be disastrous for the reigning world champion.

1345: Here we go then, the 10-car shoot-out gets underway with the Ferraris looking in very good shape, despite Lewis Hamilton's excellent two sessions so far.

1337: The second session comes to an end, with only the top 10 going through to the final session.

The next six out of the running are Mark Webber, David Coulthard, Scott Speed, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher. A late lap of 1:15.149 saves Nick Heidfeld from the drop.

1334: David Coulthard's qualifying session is over, this time because of electronic issues in his Red Bull. He will start from 16th on the grid by the look of things. Mark Webber's car is fine, apparently, with no technical problems to blame for his slow laps.

1333: Fernando Alonso is still struggling to get to grips with the Magny-Cours turns for some reason and he posts a time a quarter of a second slower than team-mate Hamilton. Once again, the Ferraris' tactic appears to be to go out as late as possible as the cars lie in wait in the pits.

1329: Hamilton improves his time to 1:14.795 and he's still the fastest out there.

1326: Yet more problems for David Coulthard, who has had to pit with what looks like a gearbox problem. Mark Webber also goes in and it does not look promising for either.

1315: Right, that's the end of the first round and the six to fall out are: Adrian Sutil, Christijan Albers, Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson, Vitantonio Luizzi and Alexander Wurz. Mark Webber and Rubens Barrichello survive with desperate final laps just in time.

1312: Formula One legend Michael Schumacher looks on from the Ferrari pits as Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen easily secure their passage into the second round, though Hamilton still holds the fastest time of the day as things stand. However, Raikkonen lost time with a scrappy few corners and, error-free, he would have secured the fastest lap without a doubt.

1308: Lewis Hamilton's first mark is a blistering 1:14.805, on the harder tyres - excellent start from the Briton. The Ferraris, though, have yet to emerge.

1305: Spyker's Adrian Sutil sets the first mark with a time of one minute 17.9 seconds, but Kovalainen comes home in 1:16.054 and leads at this early stage.

1302: BBC Sport columnist Heikki Kovalainen is first out on the track, in blazing sunshine in France, so here we go.

Pre race

It is a measure of just how far Lewis Hamilton has come in his short career so far that he will start Magny Cours qualifying as many people's hot tip for a third straight pole.

Having finished final practice as the fastest driver, the Briton, targeting a remarkable third successive Grand Prix victory in his debut season, again out-shone his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso.

However, the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikonnen had dominated practice until that point and start as favourites on the love-it-or-hate-it track.

As for the likes of Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson, an improved performance at Indianapolis last time out provides cause for encouragement, but don't expect them to be challenging the top dogs just yet.



SEE ALSO
Massa edges out Hamilton for pole
30 Jun 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari head McLaren in practice
29 Jun 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton confident for French GP
28 Jun 07 |  Formula One


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