Saturday July 1st, 2000
No stopping Schumacher
Michael Schumacher's diligent preparation paid dividends during qualifying for the French GP, when Ferrari's star secured the 27th pole position of his career with a stunning display. The German spent the morning working on setting up his car for qualifying, and set his time during his first run when the track was at its coolest. "We timed things well, and I am very pleased with the way the car went," Schumacher said. Rubens Barrichello set the pace initially, but had to revert to his initial set-up afgter an experiment with ride heights proved a mistake.
Coulthard flies the flag for McLaren
Even though he did not get out until half the session was over, following work to rectify the engine failure he suffered this morning, David Coulthard remained Schumacher?s closest challenger. The Scot ran the T-car initially when his race car required a new fuel pump, then switched to his repaired race car and was unlucky when the random weight check in the pit lane threw up his name and number twice, once for each chassis. Mika Hakkinen narrowly lost third place to Barrichello, the Finn pronouncing himself less happy with his car than he had been during free practice.
Ralf stars as Williams charges
Proving the value of the team's practice strategy of focusing on race set-up on Friday and qualifying set-up on Saturday morning, Ralf Schumacher set the fifth fastest time to line up behind Ferrari and McLaren. The surprised German was much happier with the balance of his Williams-BMW, as was team-mate Jenson Button who set the 10th fastest time.
Irvine grabs sixth for Jaguar
Eddie Irvine was disappointed to lose fifth place to Ralf Schumacher in the closing stages, but was a lot happier than Johnny Herbert, who complained of poor balance which prevented him from attacking in the fast corners.
Villeneuve fulfills top 10 claim
Jacques Villeneuve fulfilled his prediction of a top 10 placing with a strong performance for BAR-Honda. The French-Canadian was on the pace right from the start and said that he was very happy that he had extracted the maximum performance from his chassis.
Jordan evenly matched
Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli proved very evenly matched with eighth and ninth fastest times, but Trulli's chance of reversing the result ended when he slid over a gravel bed.
Salo in the clouds at Sauber
Mika Salo reported that the Sauber Petronas team timed his last run to perfection, sending him out just as clouds lowered the ambient and track temperatures. But Pedro Diniz lost his chance of a higher placing following gearbox failure.
Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz were disappointed with the handling of their Benettons, achieving only 14th and 17th places. The Evo IV versions of Peugeot's V10 did not help Nick Heidfeld and Jean Alesi beyond 16th and 18th positions. Ricardo Zonta had to take the BAR T-car after his race car's engine broke during his first run.
Pos Driver Team Times
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:15.632 202.343 km/h
2. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:15.734 + 0.102
3. Barrichello Ferrari 1:16.047 + 0.415
4. Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:16.050 + 0.418
5. R.Schumacher Williams BMW 1:16.291 + 0.659
6. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth 1:16.399 + 0.767
7. Villeneuve BAR Honda 1:16.653 + 1.021
8. Frentzen Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:16.658 + 1.026
9. Trulli Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:16.669 + 1.037
10. Button Williams BMW 1:16.905 + 1.273
11. Herbert Jaguar Cosworth 1:17.176 + 1.544
12. Salo Sauber Petronas 1:17.223 + 1.591
13. de la Rosa Arrows Supertec 1:17.279 + 1.647
14. Fisichella Benetton Playlife 1:17.317 + 1.685
15. Diniz Sauber Petronas 1:17.361 + 1.729
16. Heidfeld Prost Peugeot 1:17.374 + 1.742
17. Wurz Benetton Playlife 1:17.408 + 1.776
18. Alesi Prost Peugeot 1:17.569 + 1.937
19. Zonta BAR Honda 1:17.668 + 2.036
20. Verstappen Arrows Supertec 1:17.933 + 2.301
21. Gene Minardi Fondmetal 1:18.130 + 2.498
22. Mazzacane Minardi Fondmetal 1:18.302 + 2.670
All Timing Unofficial