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Hungarian Grand Prix
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Qualifying Session Report - Results
It was a stunning display of dominance by Michael Schumacher. He took 3.455 seconds off his Pole time from last year. He out-qualified his team-mate by 0.894 seconds and he only used 2 runs (out of the 4 allowed) to achieve this. This is Michael's 9th Pole position of the season and given the huge gap between him and David Coulthard in second place (0.801 seconds) only a mechanical failure or driver error in the race tomorrow will prevent Michael from winning his 51st race and his 4th title.
Behind Coulthard is Rubens Barrichello in 3rd with Ralf Schumacher doing his best in the Williams managing 4th ahead of Jarno Trulli showing again his strong qualifying performance in the Jordan. Mika Hakkinen is 6th after struggling all through the session with his car. Nick Heidfeld made it 7th on the grid ahead of Montoya, Raikkonen and Villeneuve.
The session started as usual with very little activity as Alonso went out in the first minute. The second driver to emerge from the pits was Bernoldi and that was 16 minutes into the session. All the drivers then followed.
Of the top drivers, Coulthard was the first to go out but had to abort his first flying lap due to Frentzen slowing him down. Ralf Schumacher was the first of the top teams to grab provisional pole but 3 minutes later Michael Schumacher takes it and keeps it.
Rubens Barrichello and David
Coulthard trade second place but couldn't even get close to Michael in the
3 attempts that they had. In the end Coulthard settled for 2nd and
Barrichello for 3rd.
Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli were both impressive both managing to get ahead of Mika Hakkinen. Fernando Alonso in the Minardi was also impressive managing to qualify in 18th ahead of the 2 Arrows and the Prost of Luciano Burti.
Jean Alesi driving for the
first time for Jordan ended up the slowest of the Honda runners and
compared to his team-mate Trulli he was a disappointment. However this is
his first time with Jordan.
The top 3 are separated by a second, the top 9 by 2 seconds and the top 15 by 3 seconds. Tarso Marques managed to qualify by just 0.104 seconds (Perhaps that is why Michael Schumacher didn't want to improve his time any more!)
In the battle of the
team-mates, the closest two were de la Rosa and Irvine with de la Rosa
ahead by just 0.064, Bernoldi out-qualified Verstappen by 0.131 and
Villeneuve out-qualified Panis by 0.17.
The closest group of drivers were Nick Heidfeld in 7th and Giancarlo Fisichella in 15th with under 0.9 seconds between those 9 drivers.
Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso have equalled there best qualifying performance this season. Both Frentzen and Verstappen had their worst qualifying performance so far this season while Marques has equalled his worst qualifying performance - again!.
The Michelin tyres didn't appear to provide such an advantage in such hot conditions. On the Williams pair of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya managed to be in the top 10. Pedro de la Rosa was the next highest Bridgestone runner in 13th. In fact all the drivers behind de la Rosa use Michelin tyres except for the Arrows' pair of Bernoldi and Verstappen who are on Bridgestones in 20th and 21st postions.
With the kind of dominance Michael has shown today, it is hard not to expect him to win the race tomorrow.