F1: Fantastic first

Felipe Massa savoured a "fantastic" first pole position, but hinted he would sacrifice victory in the Turkish Grand Prix to help Michael Schumacher's world championship bid.

Felipe Massa savoured a "fantastic" first pole position, but hinted he would sacrifice victory in the Turkish Grand Prix to help Michael Schumacher's world championship bid.

The 25-year-old's late lap usurped Ferrari team-mate Schumacher and put Massa at the front of the grid for the first time in 66 attempts.

Ferrari were the team to beat and Massa's lap of 1m26.907s ensured a clean sweep of the front row for the fourth time this season.

But Massa admitted he will play the team game and do all he can to help Schumacher's title chances - and that could mean giving up a first win.

He said: "For sure I will try to do the best I can and also think about the championship.

"We are looking to fight for the championship in whatever championship we are trying to win. I will help the team."

Massa's pole position confirmed his growing maturity in his first season as a Ferrari racer and he was elated with pole position.

He added: "It is a fantastic moment for me. The first pole is always much more important than the others because the first time you are much more happy. I am really, really happy."

Massa was helped to pole by an uncharacteristically scrappy final session from Schumacher, who had looked set to dominate, but made late errors to scupper his chances.

He ended up 0.377secs behind his team-mate and admitted he had been off form in his crucial final laps.

"On both tries I ran wide," said Schumacher, who trails Fernando Alonso by 10 points in the championship.

"I didn't have an optimum lap and it didn't go exactly to plan obviously."

Schumacher paid only a small price for his errors though after Alonso's best effort left him third.

The world champion has been out of sorts all weekend and conceded third was the best he could hope for in qualifying. However, he does not believe yesterday's result reflects his chances today.

Alonso said: "I am very happy to be honest. We knew that for one timed lap Ferrari were too strong. We believe more in our pace in the race.

"We are just behind them so it is the maximum the team can do, but we are in a very optimistic position."

Alonso will get back-up from Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella in his pursuit of Ferrari, with the Italian lining up fourth after his best qualifying in four races.

Ralf Schumacher was fifth-fastest for Toyota, but loses 10 places after an engine change, moving BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld into the top five.

Jenson Button, who won the last race in Hungary, starts sixth for Honda while last year's Turkish winner Kimi Raikkonen is seventh in his McLaren.

Rookie Robert Kubica looks well placed to avenge his Hungarian disqualification after claiming eighth on the grid for his second Formula One race, for BMW-Sauber.

David Coulthard failed to make it through first qualifying and starts 17th for Red Bull.

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