Kovalainen to start on pole

Finnish Heikki Kovalainen finished with the best time on Saturday, giving him pole position at Sunday's British GP. The McLaren driver will start in front of 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen fromFerrari and British Lewis Hamilton also from McLaren.


Heikki Kovalainen grabbed his first ever Formula One pole position on Saturday with a near-flawless qualifying display at the British Grand Prix.

The Finnish McLaren driver produced an inspired final lap of 1:21.049, more than half a second faster than Red Bull's Mark Webber who will start from second.

However, even after such an impressive performance Kovalainen will have his work cut out to add a maiden race win to his pole position.

The Finn will have the Ferrari of world champion Kimi Raikkonen and also his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton breathing down his neck from third and fourth on the grid respectively.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld will start fifth just ahead of Spanish Renault driver Fernando Alonso.

Nelson Piquet steered the other Renault to seventh on the grid while Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's world championship leader Felipe Massa will start eighth and ninth respectively.

The BMW of Poland's Robert Kubica completes the top 10.

The first qualifying mini-session began in dry, cloudy conditions but with the threat of rain ever-present, all the drivers immediately took to the track.

At the top of the times Kovalainen led the way, marginally ahead of Hamilton and Vettel, while at the bottom the slowest five drivers were eliminated from contention.

Force India's Italian veteran Giancarlo Fisichella was the first man to be eliminated and will start on the back row of the grid alongside his German teammate Adrian Sutil.

Nico Rosberg spent the session fighting with his Williams and was knocked out at the first stage for the first time this season. He will start from 18th on the grid.

The final drivers to go were Honda pair Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. The Englishman and the Brazilian will start from 17th and 16th respectively.

Hamilton was quickest in the second mini-session with Kovalainen and Webber just behind.

This time Williams' Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima was the first man to be eliminated and will start the race from 15th, just behind Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais who will start on the seventh row of the grid.

The last two drivers not to make the top-10 shootout were Trulli's teammate Timo Glock and Red Bull's David Coulthard who will take the 12th and 11th positions respectively.

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