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2001 French Grand Prix 
Qualifying Session  

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Reports & Results from other sessions

Qualifying Session Report - Results

Ralf Schumacher grabs his first ever Pole position just 0.01 seconds ahead of his brother Michael. David Coulthard was 3rd 0.197 seconds off the pace.
Mika Hakkinen managed 4th while Jarno Trulli impressed grabbing 5th on the grid only 0.321 seconds off pole time. Montoya was 6th with Frentzen in 7th and Barrichello a disappointing 8th. Nick Heidfeld was 9th just 0.001 seconds ahead of Jacques Villeneuve in 10th.

Ralf Schumacher's time is over 2.6 seconds faster than last year's pole time. In fact the first 16 cars on the grid have beaten the pole time of last year.

The session was run in ideal conditions for Michelin as the track temperatures exceeded 40 degrees. It started quietly with no activity on the track until 6 minutes into the session when Jean Alesi and Jos Verstappen went out. Rubens Barrichello then came out which was early for Ferrari and despite taking provisional pole, his time was not very good.
Just after the 15 minute mark, Ralf Schumacher takes to the track and sets a stunning lap time of 1:13.622. Minutes later Barrichello goes out on his second run but makes a mistake and aborts his lap clearly showing that he was struggling with his Ferrari.
22 minutes into the session and David Coulthard moves into 2nd a tenth slower than Ralf and just second later Michael Schumacher takes provisional pole just 0.048 seconds in front of Ralf.
Eddie Irvine who set the 6th fastest time on his 1st run spins off during his second run and is forced to run back to the pits to get the spare!.

Halfway into the session and Ralf Schumacher retakes the lead from his brother improving by more than half a second and minutes later Michael improves but remains in second just 0.076 seconds behind.

Michael starts feeling the pressure and goes out on his 3rd run before Ralf and fails to improve. Ralf then goes out on his 3rd run and aborts it as he also fails to improve on the 1st and 2nd sectors.
With 8 minutes to go, Michael Schumacher goes out on his final run and improves but not enough to take pole. He ends up 0.01 seconds behind his brother. Ralf Schumacher goes out on his final run comforted by the fact that his closest rivals - his brother - has run out of laps and will not be able to take pole away from him. His only concern was David Coulthard who improves from 5th to 3rd but doesn't threaten Ralf's pole position.

Behind the exciting fight at the front, Mika Hakkinen managed to get 4th just 0.042 second of an impressive Jarno Trulli while Montoya settled for 6th.

Half a second covers the first 5, 1 second covers the top 8 while 2 seconds cover the top 13. The closes group of cars was 7th to 11th with just 0.366 seconds separating the 5 cars.

In the battle of the team-mates, the closest 2 were Coulthard ahead of Hakkinen by just 0.082 seconds followed by Villeneuve ahead of Panis by 0.085. Verstappen managed to out-qualify Bernoldi by just 0.2 seconds.
The worst qualifier compared to his team-mate was Barrichello who ended up 0.868 seconds behind Michael Schumacher, Jean Alesi was 0.702 seconds behind Luciano Burti and Juan Pablo Montoya was 0.636 seconds behind Ralf Schumacher. 
Eddie Irvine managed to out-qualify Pedro de la Rosa by 0.579 despite having to switch to the spare car!

Benetton had a slightly improved performance with their new package with Fisichella in 16th and Button in 17th.

So for the 3rd race in a row, we have a Schumacher 1-2 on the grid although for the first time it is Ralf who is on pole. McLaren are on the second row while Trulli has done an excellent job placing his Jordan Honda ahead of the Williams of Montoya and the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello.

It will be an interesting start to an interesting race with tyres expected to play a key factor in this race again.

Click here of the Qualifying table for the drivers this season  

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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