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Austrian Grand Prix
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Qualifying Session Report - Results
Michael Schumacher grabs his 5th
Pole position of the season ahead of the Williams pair of Juan Pablo
Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello took 4th place ahead of
Jarno Trulli in the Jordan and Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber!.
The times are very close, only 0.873 seconds separates Michael Schumacher and Olivier Panis in 10th however the top 4 are on their own with a mere 0.224 separating them while Trulli in 5th is 0.64 seconds off the pace.
The session was run under mainly sunny
conditions with a bit of cloud cover. The first car that went out on the
track was that of Enrique Bernoldi and that was on the 21st minute of the
session. Many cars came out right after Bernoldi and several wasted their
fast laps by spinning. Villeneuve in particular spun or went off on
several of his flying runs.
Tarso Marques put his car in the gravel on
his first flying lap and had to take the spare. He only did 1 flying lap
before he suffered a problem. Luckily for him he managed to qualify even
though in 22nd.
With the excerption of Marques, Fisichella and Alesi, all the driver did 11 or 12 laps during the session. Marques only managed 5 laps while Fisichella did 8 and Alesi did 10.
Comparing with last year, the Pole time has
been beaten by almost 1 second and the top 9 drivers bettered that
In the battle of the team-mates, the
closest two were Coulthard and Hakkinen with only 0.011 seconds separating
them, next is the Williams pair with just 0.083 seconds between Montoya
and Ralf Schumacher. Pedro de la Rosa was out-qualified by Eddie Irvine
with a gap of 0.12 seconds.
For Mika Hakkinen in 8th, this was his
worst qualifying this year. He has not qualified outside the top 4 in the
past events this year. For Juan Pablo Montoya in 2nd, not only is this the
first time he beats his team-mate but this is the highest qualifying
position he has ever achieved. His best in the past has been 4th in
This will certainly be an interesting race between Ferrari and Williams. It is doubtful that McLaren will be able to play a big role here but one cannot discount them. Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher have had near perfect starts several times this season. We'll see how they fight it out this time with Michael Schumacher.