Montoya On Pole Roll

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If Juan Pablo Montoya can translate his recent qualifying success to race day, Sunday's Grand Prix of Canada should be quite a dogfight.

Montoya edged Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher for the second race in a row to put his Williams on pole position for Sunday's race in Montreal.

The Colombian, also fastest in Monaco two weeks ago, clinched his third pole of 2002 and sixth of his Formula One career with a blistering lap of one minute 12.836 seconds around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"Everything went really smoothly, the car is good and has been all weekend," said Montoya, grinning broadly as he sat between the second and third placed Ferrari drivers at a post-qualifying news conference on Saturday.

"I gave it a good go and if I'd really put all the sectors together I could have been faster."

Schumacher, chasing Ferrari's 150th win in Canada and his own sixth in eight races this year, has been on pole position in Canada six times since 1994. This time he missed out by 0.182 of a second.

Ferrari and Williams also claimed the second row, with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello third after hitting the wall in morning practice and Ralf Schumacher -- winner here last season -- fourth for Williams.

Finn Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for McLaren while Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, in a Jordan, completed the third row.

Germany's Nick Heidfeld was seventh for Sauber, ahead of Monaco winner David Coulthard's McLaren.

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, making good use of British American Racing's new aerodynamics package, claimed a season's best ninth place on the grid.

Schumacher leads Montoya and brother Ralf in the championship by 33 points and his record-equalling fifth title has been seen as a foregone conclusion.

But the German's rivals are fighting back and Montoya ended the champion's hopes of a fourth Montreal pole in a row with the fastest lap half an hour into the hour-long session.

In a break from the routine, with the slower Minardis normally acting as roadsweepers before the big teams hit the track, the Williams drivers went out first as forecasts predicted rain before the hour was out.

"We were really expecting the rain a little earlier," said Montoya.

Montoya's time was nearly three seconds faster than Schumacher's 2001 pole, although the island circuit in the St Lawrence river has been modified and slightly shortened.

Race Center

Grand Prix of Brazil

@ Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sunday, November 24, 2013

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