Massa takes pole position

Magny-cours, June 30:

Brazilian Felipe Massa ended Lewis Hamilton’s two-race domination of Formula One by taking pole position ahead of the young Briton on Saturday for Sunday’s French Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver clocked a fastest lap in the final segment of qualifying with a time of 1min 15.034secs after a close contest for the prime grid position. Hamilton, in his McLaren Mercedes-Benz, was second fastest with a time of 1:15.104 ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari.

Poland’s Robert Kubica was fourth fastest for BMW Sauber. Italian Giancarlo Fisichella in a Renault was fifth ahead of his team-mate Finn Heikki Kovalainen, German Nick Heidfeld in the second BMW and Italian Jarno Trulli in a Toyota.

Defending double drivers world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain suffered another painfully disappointing session by comparison with his young tyro team-mate Hamilton and wound up in 10th place on the grid.

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello was 13th for Honda, Webber 14th, American Scott Speed 15th for Torro Rosso and Coulthard 16th. In the final mini-session, Hamilton was swiftly outpaced by Raikkonen early on, before the final scrap saw him regain top spot briefly and then lose out to Massa.