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2002 Japanese Grand Prix 
Qualifying Session  

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Qualifying Session Report - Results

Michael Schumacher grabs his 7th Pole position of the season and the 50th of his career ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard. Kimi Raikkonen was 4th ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Takuma Sato managed 7th and his best ever qualifying ahead of his team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella. Jacques Villeneuve was 9th with Jenson Button wrapping up the top 10.

The session was interrupted for over 75 minutes after Allan McNish appeared to have lost control of his car and drove backwards through the armco barrier. The back of his was destroyed, luckily though he didn't sustain any major injuries. He will be assessed tomorrow to see if he will be fit to race. He qualified in 18th.

The fight for pole turned to be a no-contest with Michael Schumacher convincingly faster than anyone else here including his team-mate. The fight at the front was really between the other 5 drivers of the top 3 teams. For most of the session they appeared to be evenly matched however Barrichello, Coulthard and Raikkonen all managed to improve late in the session while Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya didn't and hence the final order.

Behind the top 3 teams, the Jordan team took the honours of the best of the rest thanks to a more powerful Honda engine. Takuma Sato impressed his home crowds by not just outqualifying his team-mate but also ending up in 7th and only 1.773 seconds off Michael's pace despite this being his first time on the track in a Formula 1 car. Behind Sato, it was close as expected with 1 second separating Sato in 7th and Massa in 15th.

In addition to McNish's crash, Olivier Panis and Eddie Irvine suffered from car problems and had to stop on the track. Panis managed to get back and use the spare but Irvine didn't.

In the battle of the team-mates, Mika Salo managed to qualify 1.449 seconds ahead of Allan McNish although McNish had his crash and only had 1 run. Jacques Villeneuve managed to qualify 0.843 seconds ahead of Olivier Panis but again Panis had car problems and had to switch to the spare and Michael Schumacher managed to out-qualify Rubens Barrichello by 0.432 seconds.
Closest were Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya with just 0.063 seconds separating them. David Coulthard managed to be 0.109 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button was 0.118 seconds ahead of Jarno Trulli who also suffered a car problem on his final run.

Alex Yoong deserves a mention as he was closest to Mark Webber as he has ever been with just 0.309 seconds separating the two.

Takuma Sato (7th) had his best qualifying position this season while Michael Schumacher (1st) once again equalled his best. Both Ralf Schumacher (5th) and Juan Pablo Montoya (6th) equalled their worst qualifying positions this season.

Click here for the 'Real Race report' including the Also Ran award by the Quali-flyer 
Click here of the Qualifying table for the drivers this season

Race starts at 2:30 PM local time. Our coverage starts at 2:00 PM local time

Session 2002 2001
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

What the teams and drivers said
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