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2002 Malaysian Grand Prix 
Qualifying Session  

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Reports & Results from other sessions

Qualifying Session Report - Results

Michael Schumacher grabs his first pole of the season (and his 4th in a row at Sepang) ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard make the top 6. 

Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya were in a class of their own today. Juan Pablo was the only driver to give a real threat to Michael Schumacher. Both their team-mates were over half a second off the pace. Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), McLaren never came into the fight as they appeared settled for 5th and 6th positions with both Raikkonen and Coulthard over 1.2 seconds off the pace. 
It is interesting to note however that Michael Schumacher's pole time was actually slower than the pole time he set here last year.

The 'best of the rest' position went to Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber and his only real competitor was surprisingly Jenson Button who managed to beat his team-mate Jarno Trulli decisively here by setting a time almost 0.7 seconds faster.
Giancarlo Fisichella was 9th over 2.2 seconds off the pace while Mika Salo in the Toyota was very impressive in 10th. Frentzen managed to put the Arrows in 11th ahead of Trulli who was disappointing in 12th place.
Jacques Villeneuve managed to move up the grid a bit into 13th place ahead of Felipe Massa who had to qualify in the spare car after spinning early in the session. Takuma Sato was 15th ahead of Bernoldi and de la Rosa while Olivier Panis only managed 2 runs in the spare car and ended up in 18th. 
Allan McNish was disappointing compared to his team-mate as he lines up in 19th ahead of a very disappointing Eddie Irvine who only managed to qualify ahead of Mark Webber and Alex Yoong.

The session started as usual with the 2 Minardis on the track then a number of midfielders got on the track. 20 minutes into the session and Kimi Raikkonen takes provisional pole. Coulthard then takes it momentarily but Montoya takes it away.
Just before the halfway mark, Michael Schumacher takes provisional pole even though he had some traffic. Juan Pablo Montoya retakes provisional pole only for Michael to take it back on his second run.
Juan Pablo closed the gap on his 3rd run but it wasn't enough and Michael kept pole position.

A number of drivers spun, most recovered however Felipe Massa had to run for the spare. Olivier Panis had what it seemed to be a gearbox problem and had to switch to the spare car.
Panis only managed 2 runs while Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher only did 3 runs. The rest of the field did 4 runs however some aborted their final laps knowing they were not improving.

In the battle of the team-mates, Allan McNish had the worst performance compared to his team-mate ending 1.265 seconds behind. Felipe Massa was 0.858 seconds behind Nick Heidfeld and Eddie Irvine was a massive 0.847 seconds behind Pedro de la Rosa.
On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen just managed to get ahead of his team-mate David Coulthard by a mere 0.009 seconds. Olivier Panis was 0.351 seconds behind Jacques Villeneuve and that despite having to qualify in the spare car. Enrique Bernoldi was 0.365 seconds behind Heinz Harald Frentzen.

The top 4 are separated by under a second, the top 8 by 2 seconds and the top 15 by 3 seconds. 

The midfield is very tight with just over a second separating Nick Heidfeld in 7th and Pedro de la Rosa in 17th.

The tyre war is certainly interesting. Michelin may have an advantage in hot conditions but it doesn't seem to be a significant one. 

On this track, it looks as if Williams have closed the gap to Ferrari while McLaren have settled for 3rd. Sauber and Renault look like fighting out for 4th while Jordan and BAR look like being caught up by Toyota and Arrows while Jaguar are struggling just ahead of Minardi.

The race tomorrow will be interesting. The Williams seem to have superb launch control but their tyres may not be running in ideal conditions at the start of the race. We also need to watch out for Ralf and Rubens!

Race starts at 3:00 PM local time.

Click here of the Qualifying table for the drivers this season  
The Real Race   

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
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

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