Download the NewsOnF1.com
Qualifying Session Report - Results
Juan Pablo Montoya grabbed his second pole position of the season in a thrilling qualifying session that was run under wet to drying conditions. His team-mate Ralf Schumacher was second ahead of Michael Schumacher (who has yet to start from Pole here) and a surprise Heinz Harald Frentzen in the Prost. Rubens Barrichello was 5th ahead of a surprise Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR.
The start of the session was
very dull as it was raining and no one went out on the track until the
26th minutes when Tarso Marques went out. Mika Hakkinen was the first
driver of the top teams to take provisional pole then his team-mate took
provisional pole away from him only to lose it to Michael Schumacher
moments later. Once all the drivers put in their timed laps they waited
for the track to dry as much as possible and naturally that was with just
A few drivers had small excursions onto the grass due to the slippery track but there were no major incidents. Nick Heidfeld suffered a car failure and had to stop on the side of the track just 2 minutes from the end. He only managed 14th.
4 drivers (Verstappen, Alonso, Bernoldi and Marques) failed to set a time within the 107% mark of the pole setter. Technically they didn't qualify however it is expected that they will appeal and be allowed to race due to the exceptional circumstances of the session.
Only Mika Hakkinen used up all his allowed 12 laps, Pedro de la Rosa and Jacques Villeneuve covered 11 laps while a number of drivers only did 7 laps including Montoya, Barrichello, Fisichella, Button and Burti.
As the session was run under mainly wet conditions and due to a long track the time difference is very big compared to other qualifying session. A second covers the top 2, 3 seconds covers the top 3, 4 seconds covers the top 4 and 5 seconds covers the top 7!
In the battle of the team-mates, the closest 2 were Raikkonen and Heidfeld with only 0.252 seconds separating them, Alesi out-qualified Trulli by 0.519 seconds and Montoya out-qualified Ralf Schumacher by 0.887 seconds. The furthest 2 were Burti behind Frentzen by 4.667 seconds, Button behind Fisichella by 1.919 seconds and Panis behind Villeneuve by 1.8 seconds.
Juan Pablo Montoya (1st) and
Heinz Harald Frentzen (4th) equalled their best qualifying positions this
season while Jacques Villeneuve (6th), Giancarlo Fisichella (8th) and
Jenson Button (15th) have their best qualifying so far this season.
We'll wait and see what the weather will do tomorrow for the race!
Update: All 4 drivers who failed to set a time within 107% will be allowed to race due to changing weather conditions during the session.