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Pole time : Michael  Schumacher - 1:31.317 
Pole time in 2001: Michael  Schumacher - 1:32.484 

Japanese GP - Qualifying session:

Final Order - Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6.
Sato, Fisichella, Villeneuve, Button, Trulli, Heidfeld, Salo, Irvine, Massa, Panis, de la Rosa, McNish, Webber and Yoong make the rest of the field.

60 min: Takuma Sato does a fantastic job in front of his home crowds and takes 7th.

60 min: Montoya goes off and doesn't improve. He ends up in 6th.

60 min: Michael Schumacher improves further with a 1:31.317.

60 min: Ralf Schumacher fails to improve and stays in 5th.

59 min: Raikkonen moves into 4th with a 1:32.197.

58 min: The 2 Williams are also on their final run.

58 min: Michael Schumacher too.

57 min: Raikkonen and Coulthard on the track.

57 min: Rubens Barrichello takes second with a 1:31.749. No runs left.

56 min: Villeneuve jumps into 8th with a time of 1:33.349. No runs left.

55 min: So are Massa, Heidfeld and de la Rosa.

54 min: Villeneuve and Barrichello out for their final runs.

53 min: Giancarlo Fisichella responds and moves into 7th with a 1:33.276

52 min: Takuma Sato moves into 8th with a time of 1:33.599.

51 min: Eddie Irvine in 12th stops on the track. Yellow flags.

50 min: And David Coulthard moves takes second with a time of 1:32.088. He is 0.578 seconds slower than Michael.

49 min: Kimi Raikkonen improves in 5th with a time of 1:32.535. Coulthard on a flying lap.

48 min: Top 10 - M Schumacher, Barrichello, R Schumacher, Montoya, Raikkonen, Coulthard, Trulli, Salo, Fisichella and Massa.

47 min: Ralf Schumacher takes second with a time of 1:32.444 but Rubens Barrichello takes it away from him with a 1:32.244.

46 min: And Michael goes even faster with a time of 1:31.510.

45 min: Juan Pablo Montoya improves slightly with a time of 1:32.507. Michael fast!

44 min: Michael Schumacher starts his second flyer and is faster in the first sector.

43 min: Montoya starts his 3 flyer.

42 min: The 2 Ferraris and 2 Williams are back on the track. Panis is going into the spare.

41 min: Giancarlo Fisichella moves into 8th with a time of 1:33.828. Coulthard aborts his run

39 min: Takuma Sato moves into 9th with a time of 1:34.003.

38 min: Rubens fast ... he improves his time but remains in 3rd. He was faster at the second sector than Michael but lost it all in the third sector!

37 min: Olivier Panis stops just after exiting the pits. What bad luck!

37 min: Rubens starts his timed lap.

36 min: Everyone follows except for Michael.

36 min: Session restarts ... and Barrichello is the first to go out

36 min: Session stopped - The drivers are now getting ready. The session will restart in 5 minutes.

36 min: Session stopped - The wall is now repaired and the session will be restarting soon

36 min: Session stopped - This must be the longest interruption to a qualifying session in memory. The session has been stopped for 55 minutes so far!

36 min: Session stopped - Work continues on the armco. Still another 20 minutes or so to the restart!.

36 min: Session stopped - Meanwhile the marshals are actually building a new armco and that is the reason for the long delay.

36 min: Session stopped - It is reported from the medical centre that McNish is complaining of pain in his knees. He is being checked out.

36 min: Session stopped - As it stands, Michael is way ahead with almost 0.75 seconds separating him from Montoya. The 5 drivers behind Michael are fairly close with just half a second separating them. Trulli in 7th has managed to reduce his gap to Michael to just over 1.7 seconds!.

36 min: Session stopped - This was McNish's final race for Toyota and his future in Formula 1 isn't decided yet. This crash may have an influence on what he does in the future.

36 min: Session stopped - All the drivers have completed a single run (3 laps) except for Montoya, Salo, Villeneuve, Massa, de la Rosa, Webber and Yoong who all had completed 2 runs (6 laps). Several drivers were on their second run, they will be given a lap back.

36 min: Session stopped - The current classification is - M Schumacher, Montoya, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Trulli, Salo, Villeneuve, Irvine, Massa, Fisichella, Heidfeld, Sato, Button, de la Rosa, Panis, McNish, Webber and Yoong.

36 min: Session stopped - The session won't be restarted until another 45 minutes. The armco needs a lot of time to be repaired.

36 min: Session stopped - Luckily for McNish he went into the barrier going backwards. The impact was so heavy that his car ripped the armco barrier and ended up on the other side!.

36 min: Session stopped - McNish's car or what remains of it has been taken away but it will be some time before the tyre barrier is repaired.

36 min: Session stopped - It was a massive shunt. McNish appeared to lose control of the car and he went through the barrier. The back of his car is completely destroyed and the rest of it is actually on the inside of the tyre barrier. Luckily he seems to fine but just shocked.

36 min: McNish crashes - Session stopped.

35 min: And Montoya moves into second with a time of 1:32.574. Superb effort but still almost 0.75 seconds behind Michael.

34 min: Montoya set to improve!

33 min: Jarno Trulli moves into 6th place dropping Montoya to 7th!. His time, a 1:33.547

32 min: Trulli on the track now and so is Montoya.

31 min: Top 10 - M Schumacher, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Montoya, Villeneuve, Irvine, Fisichella and Heidfeld. Trulli is the only driver yet to set a time.

30 min: Alex Yoong improves in his second run with a time of 1:37.216. That should be enough for him to qualify.

29 min: Michael Schumacher responds and grabs provisional pole with a stunning time of 1:31.825. He is over 0.85 seconds faster than his team-mate!

28 min: Rubens Barrichello takes provisional pole by just 0.002 seconds. Villeneuve improves into 6th.

27 min: Takuma Sato moves into 8th with a time of 1:34.398. Fisichella is in 6th.

27 min: Barrichello on his flyer. Villeneuve on his second run!

26 min: Juan Pablo Montoya is a full second behind Ralf at this stage.

25 min: Top 10 - Raikkonen, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Montoya, Irvine, Heidfeld, Button, Massa, Villeneuve and Salo. The 2 Ferraris have yet to set a time.

24 min: David Coulthard moves into second with a 1:32.836 while Ralf Schumacher takes 3rd with a 1:33.065.

23 min: And Raikkonen takes provisional pole with a 1:32.699. Montoya moves into second with a 1:34.023 after locking up.

22 min: Kimi Raikkonen fast!

21 min: Allan McNish moves into second with a time of 1:35.191. That is a big improvement over this morning.

20 min: Kimi Raikkonen on track as well.

19 min: Pedro de la Rosa moves into second with a 1:35.276 and that is faster than his morning time.

18 min: McNish, Montoya and Coulthard on the track!

17 min: Pedro de la Rosa starts his flying lap as Coulthard and Montoya get into their cars.

16 min: Pedro de la Rosa now on the track.

14 min: Villeneuve sets a time of 1:34.863. That is around two tenths up on his best this morning. The qualifying engine must be a good step forward!

13 min: Villeneuve starts his flying lap..

11 min: Jacques Villeneuve is on the track for his first run. Honda are introducing a newer spec engine for Qualifying today.

10 min: Alex Yoong sets a time of 1:38.700. That is almost a second slower than his best time this morning. Yoong might struggle again!

9 min: Now Yoong starts his flyer!

8 min: Alex Yoong is the first driver to go out onto the track!

7 min: Kimi Raikkonen is being strapped into his McLaren!

5 min: No one out yet!

Session underway but as is the case usually, don't expect anyone to go out until at least 10 minutes into the session

Kimi Raikkonen was fastest yesterday but Michael Schumacher went better this morning. The top 3 teams are close but Ferrari may have been taking it easy in the second session. Session starting in 2 minutes

Session starting at 1:00 PM local time. It is mostly sunny with an air temperature of 23 degrees.

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