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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Alonso on pole and Massa in hospital

Alonso on pole and Massa in hospital

July 25, 2009 20:10 IST

Renault's Fernando Alonso took his first pole position in nearly two years on Saturday after a Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session overshadowed by Ferrari's Felipe Massa suffering a heavy crash.

The session was suspended at the end of the second phase when Brazilian Massa, who appeared to have been hit on the helmet by debris, ploughed full-throttle into the tyre barrier at turn four.

He was extracted from the car, taken to the circuit medical centre and then flown to hospital. A spokeswoman for the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said he was in a stable condition.

There was further confusion when qualifying resumed, with the timing screens going blank and leaving teams and drivers as well as spectators in the dark about who had taken the pole position.

When they came back, Alonso's first pole since the Italian Grand Prix of September 2007 was confirmed with Red Bulls' Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber starting second and third.

Briton Jenson Button, the championship leader after winning six of the first seven races, qualified only eighth for Mercedes-powered Brawn GP.

Button is 21 points clear of Vettel with seven races remaining after Hungary.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has started the last two Hungarian races on pole, qualified fourth after his team had dominated practice.

Spain's Jaime Alguersuari, just 19 years old, became the youngest driver ever to qualify for a Formula One Grand Prix.

The Toro Rosso new boy will start at the back of the grid however after pulling over with a mechanical problem at the end of the first qualifying session.

Alan Baldwin
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