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Michael takes another crown by the Quali-flyer  

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Who is the greatest qualifying driver of all? Senna, hands down. Michael may one day pass Ayrton�s record of 65 Pole positions, but he cannot expect to ever match the 40% of all starts from the front of the grid that that number represents.

Who is the greatest strategic driver of all? Well, it used to be the Professor, but that crown, like Prost�s F1 win record has just tumbled.

Schumacher will go to Brazil with two objectives, to put himself on pole using the F2002, and minimise the points differential with Williams BMW using the F2001. Ferrari knows that the F2001, even with Schumacher at the wheel, at best will start from the second row of the grid and then watch the Williams BMW disappear into the distance. Ferrari is fairly sure that the F2002 would not yet survive a race distance at Interlagos.

The solution, take one very reliable F2001 to race and one very fast F2002, overstressed, in pure qualifying trim and hope it lasts long enough to put MS convincingly on pole. Is it legal? Yes. Is it moral? Well, at least it�s legal!

No other driver has the skill to go to Interlagos planning to race a car that he has had no chance to set up. Michael will rely on data from last year plus that obtained from Rubens� car to set up the �spare� F2001. Starting from pole (and he will start from pole) He hopes to hold off the Williams charge and prevent them from building an unmatchable lead early on. Michael is a strategist and tactician, if he can keep the Williams BMW behind him till 1/3 race distance he can capitalise on the frustrations of Montoya who will have Schumacher in front of him and Ralf behind him being harried by Rubens.

No one else could achieve it � Michael is willing to try. A victory at Brazil is less important than controlling Montoya�s tally. Even at this stage of the season, Michael is playing mind games with Montoya. If the two leave Interlagos nil all, Michael will be satisfied, even if it means that Ralf has a brief stint at the head of the leader board.

The F2002 will be fixed and when it is it will be fast. Michael can make his points charge through the back end of the calendar. Montoya cannot be allowed to build a gap first, even if it means building a whole qualifying car to stop him.

Qualifying is the race between the drivers within a team, for Interlagos Michael is changing the rules. He doesn�t have to beat Rubens, the car will do that, assisted by the extra set-up work Rubens will have to do to ensure Michaels race car is right for him to fine tune in a couple of laps Sunday morning. Qualifying this Saturday will be a real race between Schumacher and Montoya.

Of the other teams, expect a big effort (too big and he fluff's it?) from the Flying Finn (mark II) and don't be surprised if Bernoldi keeps the car pointing roughly forward and qualifies within a 10th of Frentzen. Look too for Button or Trulli on the third row of the grid.

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Japanese GP 
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1 M Salo
2 J Villeneuve
3 M Schumacher
Japanese GP 
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USA E Irvine
Italy D Coulthard
Belgium D Coulthard
Hungary JP Montoya
Germany JP Montoya
France R Schumacher
Britain A Yoong
Europe J Villeneuve
Canada D Coulthard
Monaco R Schumacher
Austria J Villeneuve
Spain D Coulthard
S.Marino A Yoong
Brazil R Schumacher
Malaysia E Irvine
Australia N Heidfeld

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