Massa on pole, Schumacher tenth

Sat, 21 October 2006, 08:28

Michael Schumacher’s championship hopes were dealt another blow at Interlagos on Saturday afternoon when a technical fault left his Ferrari stranded in the pits for the decisive top-ten tussle for pole.

While his Brazilian teammate delighted the home crowd by dominating, Schumacher – in his last ever qualifying session – did only a very slow lap in the fuel-burn phase before retiring to the pits. He did not re-emerge, although speculation of a ten-place penalty appeared to be wide of the mark with suggestions of a throttle or fuel feed problem.

The German is provisionally tenth on the grid, while title favourite Fernando Alonso went fourth best.

Schumacher’s problem follows that of pole sitter Massa, who only just made it onto the track for the start of the ‘knockout’ qualifying format after an apparent gearbox change.

The only other incident of note was Tiago Monteiro’s spin early in the first qualifying session, stranding his Spyker at the rear of the grid. Honda’s Jenson Button failed to go fast enough for the final ten with a traction control glitch.

GP Brasil, qualification
1. F. Massa Ferrari 1:10.680
2. K. Räikkönen McLaren 1:11.299
3. J. Trulli Toyota 1:11.328
4. F. Alonso Renault 1:11.567
5. R. Barrichello Honda 1:11.619
6. G. Fisichella Renault 1:11.629
7. R. Schumacher Toyota 1:11.695
8. N. Heidfeld BMW 1:11.882
9. R. Kubica BMW 1:12.131
10. M. Schumacher Ferrari no time
11. M. Webber Williams 1:11.650
12. P. de la Rosa McLaren 1:11.658
13. N. Rosberg Williams 1:11.679
14. J. Button Honda 1:11.742
15. R. Doornbos Red Bull 1:12.591
16. V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:12.861
17. S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:12.856
18. C. Albers Spyker MF1 1:13.138
19. D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:13.249
20. T. Sato Super Aguri 1:13.269
21. S. Yamamoto Super Aguri 1:13.357
22. T. Monteiro Spyker MF1 no time


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