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Alonso wins pole for French GP



Published: Sat, July 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



MAGNY COURS, France (AP) -- Formula One leader Fernando Alonso of Spain won the pole position Saturday for the French Grand Prix.

All the teams were back on the track, two weeks after 14 cars boycotted the U.S. Grand Prix over concerns about tire safety.

Alonso was timed in 1 minute, 14.412 seconds on an overcast day, gaining his third pole of the season and sixth of his career.

"Last year I had the pole here, the only one of the 2004 season," the Renault driver said. "The whole weekend has been good. I felt the car the car had good balance and it gave me extra confidence."

Toyota's Jarno Trulli, who held pole in the U.S. Grand Prix, was second in 1:14.521 leading to today's 70-lap race. Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren-Mercedes was third in 1:14.559, followed by Michael Schumacher in 1:14.572.

"Now we are back on the job," Trulli said. "Indianapolis was a big disappointment for the public. We would have liked to race."

Raikkonen will be penalized 10 spots on his qualifying position because he changed his engine after its failure during practice Friday.

Alonso has 59 points in the overall standings, followed by Raikkonen with 37 and Schumacher, the seven-time champion, with 34.




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