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Massa takes pole at French Grand Prix, Hamilton No. 2

Massa takes pole at French Grand Prix, Hamilton No. 2

Massa takes pole at French Grand Prix, Hamilton No. 2
June 30, 2007

MAGNY COURS, France (AP) -Felipe Massa outpaced Lewis Hamilton to take the pole position for Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Massa timed 1 minute, 15.034 seconds on the 2.74-mile circuit for his fourth Formula One pole of the season and the seventh of his career. He had three straight earlier this season.

Hamilton was second for McLaren in 1:15.104, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari in 1:15.257.

``For sure definitely, a good weekend for us,'' Ferrari's Massa said. ``I think it is encouraging and we are back fighting. It is good to be back fighting and I hope we can have a good car tomorrow.''

Despite the Ferrari team dominating the practice sessions on Friday, Hamilton was not disappointed.

``I think we can't be perfect all the time,'' Hamilton said. ``I am very, very happy. I am on the front row.''

Hamilton was ahead of Massa's time when he came into a turn too fast.

``I braked a little bit late,'' Hamilton said.

Two-time defending world champion Fernando Alonso was 10th in his McLaren in a limited session. On his first lap in the third session, Alonso had a problem with his car and went straight back to the pits.

If he changes his engine, Alonso could be penalized to the back of the grid.

``I don't really know what happened,'' Hamilton said of his McLaren teammate. ``I saw some smoke at one of the corners and then he came in. It is good one of us is up there.''

Hamilton took the pole in Canada and United States and won both races to make it seven straight podium finishes - two wins, four seconds and a third in his rookie F1 season.

Hamilton leads the drivers' standings with 58 points, 10 ahead of Alonso and 19 in front of Massa.

McLaren has 12 of a possible 14 podium positions this season to lead the constructors' standings with 106 points. Ferrari is second with 71.

Last year, Michael Schumacher and Massa led a Ferrari 1-2 in qualifications and the race, while Alonso finished third after winning the previous year.

After winning two races earlier this season, Massa has finished third twice and been disqualified in Canada for running a red light in the pit lane during a caution.

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