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Against all odds, Fisichella takes pole

NEWS STORY
29/08/2009

After three practice sessions, one of them seriously compromised by the weather, it is almost impossible to draw any real conclusions. Indeed, this morning's session looked as though the order had been decided by lottery, with Jenson Button, the leading (serious) title protagonist, way down in tenth.

Overall, the most consistent team thus far this weekend has been Toyota, with BMW also looking quite good, however, in terms of the big guns, especially those fighting for the title(s), the form and pace of both Brawn and Red Bull has fluctuated wildly.

This morning, opted to change the engine in the back of Mark Webber's car, the Australian not posting a time, while Vettel has appeared unusually cautious thus far, his situation no doubt made worse by his teammate's problems.

At Brawn, despite the team's assurances otherwise, the unusually cool conditions do not suit the BGP 001 with neither Button nor Barrichello looking convincing, certainly thus far.

While the McLaren were down the timesheets this morning, both drivers have looked good for much of the time, particularly Hamilton, while Raikkonen is also a dark horse.

Then again, bearing in mind that this is Spa, one has the feeling that some of the teams know something we don't hence this morning's unusual standings on the timesheets.

While Toyota and Force India have looked good, Williams have been unusually bad while at Renault there have been times when one wonders whether Fernando Alonso is actually here this weekend. And if that sounds like an exaggeration, that's how confused things have been this weekend.

With five minutes before Q1 gets underway, the air temperature is 15 degrees C, while the track temperature is 27 degrees. It remains cool, and while sunny, there is a lot of cloud in the distance.

The lights go green and Badoer leads the way, followed by Raikkonen, Alguersuari and Fisichella.

The tyre options are medium and soft, with drivers finding the medium to be best and the soft only really good for one lap. Nonetheless, both have to be used tomorrow.

On his out lap, Rosberg is told that rain is not expected within the next thirty minutes.

Fisichella posts the first time of the afternoon, crossing the line at 1:48.386. However, this is soon beaten by Alguersuari, Badoer, Raikkonen, Grosjean and Rosberg, the German posting 1:47.237 to go quickest.

No sooner has Trulli gone quickest than he is demoted by his Toyota teammate who posts 46.394. Alonso goes third with 46.920.

Having gone fifteenth on his first lap (48.507), Button seeks to improve next time around. He and his teammate are on the harder tyre.

Barrichello goes third and his teammate fourth, ahead of Sutil, Rosberg and Kovalainen.

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