Fisichella confirmed on pole

Giancarlo Fisichella claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix with ease as Formula One's new qualifying system threw up an unusual grid at Albert Park.

Giancarlo Fisichella claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix with ease as Formula One's new qualifying system threw up an unusual grid at Albert Park.

The Renault driver used the new aggregate qualifying system, which adds Saturday times to Sunday's, to his advantage to take just his second pole.

Rain yesterday left Fisichella in provisional pole position by a clear two seconds and he did not let that advantage slip in the final session, setting the second fastest time to cement his position at the top.

Jarno Trulli was another driver to benefit from yesterday's events and he held on to second place to give Toyota their best-ever grid position.

Home hero Mark Webber, driving a Williams, has his first podium finish in his sights after securing third place, with former world champion Jacques Villeneuve fourth.

Scotsman David Coulthard will make his Red Bull debut from fifth after a fine lap elevated him above team-mate Christian Klien.

Jenson Button had little chance to alter his grid position after first qualifying, with too much time between the BAR driver and his closest rivals. He completed a tidy lap to secure eighth on the grid.

World champion Michael Schumacher was among the worst affected by yesterday's downpour and he was left with an impossible task to fight his way up the grid due to the aggregate format.

With over 24 seconds between the Ferrari driver and Fisichella, Schumacher had no real chance of improving his position and opted not to set a lap, condemning him to start 18th.

He is not the only top driver to be languishing at the wrong end of the grid.

The McLaren duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya were among the pre-race favourites to win today but saw their chances damaged by the rain.

Montoya put in a strong lap to edge up the grid and claim ninth but Raikkonen ran wide on his and fell behind his team-mate, taking 10th.

While some of the leading drivers suffered at the hands of Melbourne's wet weather, Formula One's minnows enjoyed better-than-expected results.

Narain Karthikeyan will become India's first-ever grand prix driver from a respectable mid-grid starting spot after safely completing his final qualifying lap, despite two hairy moments, to claim 12th.

Minardi, whose team boss Paul Stoddart is still embroiled in a furious row with world governing body the FIA, have Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers starting 16th and 17th respectively.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent