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2001 Australian Grand Prix 
Qualifying Session  

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Qualifying Session Report - Results

Although he may have been concerned about the recent spate of reliability problems that the Ferrari cars have experienced in Melbourne over the last two days, Michael Schumacher won the battle for pole position for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix with relative ease.

Rubens Barrichello will start next to Michael in the other Ferrari  and Hakkinen will be  in third spot on the second row of the grid with the Jordan of Frentzen next to him in fourth.

Ferrari must be thrilled to get both cars on the front of the grid for the first race of the season. They appear to be considerably faster than the rest of the field and certainly managed to stay ahead of their major rival, the McLaren. The only cloud on their horizon must be the many failures of the recent practice sessions. Maybe the Ferraris will not finish, but they will be fast.

McLaren, on the other hand, must be a little shocked that Ferrari has gained so much ground in the off season. Hakkinen in third is already a concern but Coulthard in 6th place must be a real shock to the system.

McLaren not only has to worry about catching the Ferraris but also have to stay ahead of the rest. Frentzen in the Jordan was less than 2/10ths of a second slower than Hakkinen and Ralf Schumacher in the Williams was only a further 1/10th behind. Both were at least 3/10ths faster than Coulthard.

The Honda powered cars are a lot closer to the front of the pack this year. Frentzen in 4th, Trulli in 7th, Villeneuve in 8th and Panis ninth. We saw the enormous effort that Honda put into the development of the motor during the course of last season, if they can achieve that again it will not be long before Honda power will be a contender for pole.

It is also significant that the first 18 cars qualified under last year's pole time. The cars are very fast and if we see the normal development over the season they will get a lot faster. One must wonder if they are as safe as they were last year.

It is encouraging to see some performance out of the Jaguar with Irvine in 12th. Judging by their performance in the off season I was expecting them to be fighting with Minardi for last place. The problem that caused Burti to crash so spectacularly is a bit of a concern. Speculation that it was tyre failure and not rear suspension failure would not make me any more confident.

Prost are also doing better than they did last year. I wonder if this finally means that they have a chance of finishing in the points?

Benetton are not starting well. They have two of the fastest and most promising drivers; it is sad that the cars are not up to scratch. Interestingly though, Jenson Button on his first qualifying session for the team managed to outqualify his team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella. 

Fernando Alonso qualified an impressive 19th ahead of the Prost of Mazzacane and the Jaguar of Burti. He was over 2 seconds faster than his team-mate Tarso Marques

Tarso Marques who didn't manage to qualify within the 107% of pole time was given permission to race tomorrow by the race stewards.

Overall it is very encouraging to see so many different teams do so well. Reliability of cars and tyres will play huge roles in the outcome of tomorrows race. It is not a foregone conclusion that either a McLaren or Ferrari will win. Unlike last season the field is wide open.

Session 2001 2000
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

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