New stars rise at Hungarian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso put Renault on pole position for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, and aims to become the youngest race winner in Formula One history.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Spaniard Fernando Alonso, seeking to become the youngest race winner in Formula One history, has put Renault on pole position for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix. Alonso, who in Malaysia became the youngest driver in Formula One history to win pole, blitzed the 4.384-kms Hungaroring circuit to clock a time of one minute 21.66 seconds. Sunday's race will tell what fuel levels drivers qualified on but it was still an impressive performance from Alonso, who turned 22 on July 29th and finished second to Ferrari's Schumacher in his home Spanish Grand Prix in May. If he wins he will be younger than New Zealander Bruce McLaren, winner at Sebring in the United States in 1959 aged 22 years and 104 days. Also, Zsolt Baumgartner will become the first Hungarian to compete in Formula One today. The 21-year-old F3000 driver received the surprise invitation from Jordan after James Firman was concussed in a 240-kph crash during free practice, and was unable to start in qualifying. Baumgartner has finished all eight races in the F3000 series this season. He has never finished outside out of the top 11, with a best of fifth at the Monaco support race. Old horses Back on the track, Jarno Trulli led pre-qualifying on Friday, for the first time this year, and started last. But the Renault driver made two small mistakes on his qualifying lap, finishing in 1:22.61, and had to settle for sixth-fastest. Ferrari's number two driver, Rubens Barrichello, beat team-mate Michael Schumacher in qualifying for the third time in a row. While Schumacher finished eighth – his lowest grid position in five years – the Brazilian was more than a half-second faster and came fifth. Barrichello won the pole at the British GP last month when Schumacher was fifth, and the Brazilian came third in qualifying at this month's German GP, and Schumacher sixth. Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams-BMW clocked the same time as Barrichello – 1:22.18. But Montoya received the higher placing on the grid because he did it first, starting 13th, while Barrichello was 16th.