Related News

Home » Sports » Motor Racing

Toyota sweeps front row in desert

ITALIAN Jarno Trulli seized pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix in Manama yesterday with Toyota teammate Timo Glock qualifying in second place.

Trulli set a time of 1 minute, 33.431 seconds at the Sakhir circuit. It was Toyota's third pole in its eighth year in Formula One, and first for four years. Toyota, which has never won a race, filled the front row for the first time.

"It's really nice to be first and second, for the team, for Toyota," Trulli said. "What a great result."

Red Bull's young German Sebastian Vettel, winner in the wet in Shanghai last weekend, will start today's race in third place with championship leader Jenson Button alongside in his Mercedes-powered Brawn GP.

The pole was the fourth of Trulli's Formula One career and first since Indianapolis in 2005, a race he did not start and that turned into a six-car fiasco after problems with the Michelin tires.

Toyota has yet to win a race in 126 attempts since its debut in 2002 but, depending on the drivers' respective fuel levels, today could represent its best chance yet of ending that run.

The driver starting on pole position has won the last five Formula One grands prix.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton, whose team risks heavy sanctions at a hearing in Paris this week for lying to race stewards at the Australian season-opener, qualified a strong fifth.

Rubens Barrichello of Brawn GP will fill the third row in sixth place, with Renault's Fernando Alonso seventh.

Champion Ferrari, still without a point and in danger of slumping to its worst-ever start to a season, had Brazilian Felipe Massa eighth and Finland's Kimi Raikkonen 10th.

Trulli was surprised by his positioning as the team had problems with its fuel and brakes during the early stages of qualifying.

"There is much more potential in the car," Trulli said. "I must say I am very confident for the race because of my race pace and looking after the tires this weekend."

Vettel was the fastest in the second part of qualifying but was three tenths of a second slower than Glock and almost six tenths slower than Trulli in the final session.

"I am personally a bit surprised by how big the gap was to Jarno - it was very, very large," Vettel said. "It's very important to be in front of Jenson."

Red Bull's Mark Webber will start from 19th in the biggest qualifying surprise. The Australian, who finished a career-best second in China, was forced by Force India's Adrian Sutil to swerve on his final flying lap during the closing stages of the first session.

"You don't usually get caught out in traffic and that was the worst corner to get blocked," Webber said. "Absolute disaster."

Asked if he would lodge a complaint against Sutil, Webber said: "It doesn't make any difference now, does it?"

Sutil, who spun off in China five laps before Force India could have secured its first-ever race points, claimed innocence. "I didn't know Mark Webber was on a flying lap. I was trying to leave space for Alonso, there was a little misunderstanding," he said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend