Qualifying reverted back to Saturday, Jenson Button returned from suspension and Williams’ Nick Heidfeld took pole position ahead of Raikkonen, Webber and Trulli. Championship leader Alonso started in sixth with Schumacher down the grid in 10th. Confusion reigned, Fisichella stalling to force a re-start only for four cars to be forced off the track on the first bend. Raikkonen emerged in the lead from Heidfeld with Trulli, Coulthard and Alonso in pursuit. The pattern of this season’s races looked set to be continued as Raikkonen stayed in front poised to win his second race in succession. But more drama followed. One lap away from taking the chequered flag, a burst tyre forced the Finn out of the race, allowing the chasing Alonso to cement his runaway lead at the head of the drivers’ championship. Heidfeld, Barrichello and Coulthard finished second, third and fourth, with Michael Schumacher in fifth despite overshooting during the closing laps.