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European Grand Prix
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Qualifying Session Report - Results
Juan Pablo Montoya grabs his 3rd Pole in a row and
his 4th of the season. This time though it was a very close one between
himself and his team-mate Ralf Schumacher with just 9 thousandths of a second
separating the two. Michael Schumacher who looked so dominant in practice
could only manage third although on his final run he looked like being able to
get pole but his third sector wasn't good enough.
The Honda runners were equally disappointing with Panis the
best runner in 12th, Sato in 14th while Fisichella was 18th and Villeneuve in
The session started slowly with Yoong the first to come out after 10 minutes. A few drivers followed but of the top runners, Kimi Raikkonen was the first out 20 minutes into the session. 5 minutes later Ralf Schumacher puts in a fast time and takes provisional pole. Rubens Barrichello goes into second while Michael Schumacher aborts his first run and switches to the spare car. Montoya's first run wasn't good and only managed 4th.
Ralf Schumacher's second run was even quicker as he sets a time below the 1:30 mark. Michael Schumacher in the spare only manages 7th while Juan Pablo Montoya moves into 3rd on his second run.
With 15 minutes to go, Juan Pablo Montoya on his third run goes fastest by just 0.009 seconds while Michael Schumacher improves into 3rd with another run to go.
With 5 minutes to go, Ralf Schumacher attempts to re-take pole but fails while Michael Schumacher leaves it until the last minute for his last run. He was slower in the first sector by a tenth, faster in the second sector by a tenth but lost two tenths in the third sector and remained in 3rd but it was close!
The Michelin tyres were clearly the dominant ones today with 7 runners in the top 10 using them.
In the battle of the team-mates, once again Mark Webber had
the biggest margin over his team-mate Alex Yoong (1.255 seconds). Not too far
behind though, Heinz Harald Frentzen was 1.216 seconds faster than Enrique
Bernoldi while Olivier Panis managed to set a time that was 1.062 seconds
faster than his team-mate Jacques Villeneuve.
Juan Pablo Montoya (1st), Ralf Schumacher (2nd) and Takuma
Sato (14th) all managed to equal their best positions.
So for the 3rd race in a row, Juan Pablo Montoya in the Williams BMW will start from Pole with his team-mate Ralf Schumacher alongside him. This is the first time this season that we have a Williams 1-2 on the grid and the first since the Belgian Grand Prix of last season.
here for a more detailed analysis including the Also
Ran award by the Quali-flyer
The race will be interesting as it appears that the
Michelins are good for the first few laps and then go off for 10 laps.
Strategy will also be crucial.