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Qualifying Session Report - Results
Michael Schumacher goes 2.5 seconds faster than last year's pole time on his way to winning his 7th pole position of the season. The only fight he had was from his brother who ended up 2nd with Juan Pablo Montoya in 3rd. Rubens Barrichello in the second Ferrari was 4th over 0.6 seconds behind his team-mate while Coulthard and Hakkinen ended up in 5th and 6th over 0.75 seconds off the pace.
Jarno Trulli was 7th as the
best of the rest with Heinz Harald Frentzen in 8th. Kimi Raikkonen managed
to yet again out-qualify his more experienced team-mate Nick Heidfeld
finishing 9th ant 10th respectively. Jacques Villeneuve missed out on a
top 10 place by 0.001 seconds in 11th while Eddie Irvine managed to get
between the 2 BAR's in 12th place.
The session started very quietly with only 2 cars setting lap times in the first 20 minutes. Then most of the drivers went out with Coulthard taking provisional pole only for it to be taken away by Ralf Schumacher. Michael Schumacher couldn't beat Ralf's time on his first run but managed to do an amazingly fast second run which secured him his 7th pole position of the season. Ralf Schumacher attempted to beat his brother's time on his 3rd and 4th runs without success. A spin by Coulthard on the final run forced everyone to slow down due to the yellow flags and that didn't help Ralf or anyone else hoping for an improvement. However it appears that the track conditions worsened towards the end of the session as very few drivers actually managed to improve.
Half a second separates the top 3 and a second covers the top 6. 2 seconds cover the top 13 while 3 seconds cover the top 16!. The closest group of cars is between Frentzen in 8th and Villeneuve in 11th with just 0.063 seconds separating the 4 cars.
Michael Schumacher only did 2 flying runs and aborted his 3rd run due to yellow flags at the end of the session and still managed to grab pole!. All the other runners completed all their allowed runs although a number of drivers aborted their flying laps.
In the battle of the
team-mates, Kimi Raikkonen managed to out-qualify his team-mate Nick
Heidfeld by just 0.036 seconds. Next were Coulthard ahead of Hakkinen by
0.059 and surprisingly, Alonso only managed to be 0.059 ahead of Tarso
It will be an interesting start to the race with the 2 Williams behind Michael Schumacher. The tyres will play a major role here and we could see a repeat of Canada. However Juan Pablo Montoya is a lot closer here and he could add even more excitement to the race. Unfortunately, it looks as if McLaren are being left behind and it is up to Williams to fight Ferrari. At least at this circuit.