Giancarlo Fisichella has confirmed that Rubens Barrichello 'put him off' towards the end of his hot lap in qualifying Saturday for the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Italian, who will now line-up second - just two tenths off pole-sitter, Kimi Raikkonen, added though that even if the 'Rubens issue' hadn't had happened, pole was still probably a step too far.

"It is great to be on the front row for tomorrow's race," said Fisi. "We have worked hard this weekend to get a good set-up on the car, and the team has done a great job, which you can see from the grid positions.

"The only problem with my lap was when I came up on Barrichello at the end - we were very close through turns 12 and 13, and it disrupted my concentration, costing me a couple of tenths. I'm not saying I was on pole but for sure a few hundredths better was possible. Anyway, it was a good clean lap, even if it was a bit conservative at the beginning. The car balance was much better than yesterday and then this morning so I am happy about the performance and looking forward to tomorrow."

Renault's executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds meanwhile was pleased to see his drivers qualifying second and third, although he thought Barrichello probably cost Fisi tenths rather than hundredths.

"To have both cars within the top three on the grid is a very pleasing team result," added Symonds. "It was not easy to get the tyres working well over a single lap this afternoon, but both drivers did a very good job on their out-laps and got the most out of the car. Giancarlo was unfortunate to be delayed by Barrichello at the end of his lap, which certainly cost him a couple of tenths, while without a mistake after being caught out by the wind in sector 3, Fernando [Alonso] might have been on pole. But we have good grid positions, a good strategy: the stage is set for strong performances from both drivers."

 

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