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Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 14:04 UK
French Grand Prix
Magny-Cours, Nevers, 20-22 June



French Grand Prix
Race: 22 June, 1300 BST Coverage: Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website


Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari driver Raikkonen has a good record at Magny-Cours

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will start Sunday's French Grand Prix from the front row in Magny-Cours.

Finn Raikkonen secured pole position with a lap of one minute, 16.449 seconds, with Massa 0.041 secs behind.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, demoted 10 places after a pit-lane crash in Montreal, will start from 13th after finishing third in a time of 1:16.693.

Team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was given a five-place penalty for blocking Mark Webber and now starts in 10th.

Renault's Fernando Alonso and Toyota's Jarno Trulli will share the second row.

Kovalainen had been set to start in fifth but was later hit by a penalty for impeding Webber when the Australian was on his fast lap.

Championship leader, BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica, will now occupy fifth on the grid.

The BMW Saubers struggled for pace at the Circuit de Nevers, with Kubica's team-mate Nick Heidfeld only narrowly avoiding being dumped out in the first qualifying session before having to settle for 11th on the grid.

The Red Bulls of Mark Webber and David Coulthard delivered another consistent performance to start in sixth and seventh ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock and Renault's Nelson Piquet.

606: DEBATE
FE
The Ferrari duo were fastest through all three sessions and duly completed their third front row sweep of the season as Raikkonen secured his 16th pole and the team's 200th.

After slipping back to fourth in the drivers' standings, Raikkonen's performance in qualifying gives him a good chance to get his title defence back on track in France.

"The main thing is to be fastest in the end and that worked out well for us," said Raikkonen.

"We had good speed all weekend and the car has been working really well but tomorrow is the one we need to win because we need some points."

I have to apologise to the team because I didn't do a great job

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was also targeting some points on French soil after losing his world championship lead to Kubica in Canada last time out.

But the 23-year-old went into qualifying with a 10-place grid penalty after his pit-lane collision with Raikkonen in Montreal.

And Hamilton conceded errors, where he twice skidded off the track at the same point, lost him vital grid places.

"It's quite disappointing," stated Hamilton. "I have to apologise to the team because I didn't do a great job.

"I went wide at Turn Seven twice and lost time. I was pushing and trying to get the best out of the car.

"But we will do our best on Sunday. Rules are rules, we will take the penalty on the chin and just make sure it doesn't happen again."

It was also a difficult day for Williams, who saw Kazuki Nakajima fail to get through first qualifying and Nico Rosberg qualify in 15th.

However, Rosberg will start from the back of the grid after he was also handed a 10-place penalty in Montreal for his part in the pit-lane incident.

Team boss Frank Williams said he believed the team had made a mistake by not appealing against the decision.

"Rosberg took a penalty in losing a potential fourth place [in Canada] but we made the mistake of not protesting the stewards' decision," he said.

"I called Max [Mosley, president of the FIA] and took him through it and he agreed. It just wasn't thought about until too late."

It was also a dismal day for Honda, with Jenson Button finishing in 17th just ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

"It's disappointing and a little bit unexpected," said Button. "We are getting the maximum out of the car and that's just the way it is."


Qualifying results for the French Grand Prix

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1m 16.449
2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:16.490
3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:16.693 *
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 1:16.840
5. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 1:16.920
6. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren 1:16.944 **
7. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1:17.037
8. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:17.233
9. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault 1:17.426
10. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 1:17.596
11. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 1:15.770
12. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:15.786
13. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:15.816
14. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:16.045
15. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota 1:16.235 *
16. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams - Toyota 1:16.243
17. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 1:16.306
18. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1:16.330
19. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India - Ferrari 1:16.971
20. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Ferrari 1:17.053

* = will be demoted 10 places on the grid

** = will be demoted five places on the grid


see also
Alonso lays down French GP marker
20 Jun 08 |  Formula One
F1 drivers fume over licence hike
19 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Kubica cools talk over F1 title
19 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton feeling heat of F1 fight
18 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Alonso unsure on Renault future
17 Jun 08 |  Formula One


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