Saturday September 9th, 2000
Schumacher heads all Ferrari front row
To the delight of the tifosi, it turned out to be an all Ferrari battle for the front of the grid for the Italian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello trading places for the pole position with Schumacher finally getting it by a couple of hundredths of a second. "I didn't make the best of qualifying, but it was good enough," said Schumacher referring to a trip over the chicane on his first run which put his qualifying laps out of sync. "The car was very good and with Rubens doing the lap times it shows that we are competitive. I feel good about the race, but tomorrow will be the reality of the situation between us and McLaren," he pointed out. It was his sixth pole of the season and the 29th of his career. Barrichello was also delighted. "Of course it's always better to be first, but I am happy to be on the front row. It's a great result for Ferrari at their home track."
"For the Championship the result is also a good one," pointed out Schumacher, "Rubens will be able to help me, or I will maybe help him depending on what happens."
Misfire slows Hakkinen
Mika Hakkinen headed the second row of the grid for McLaren-Mercedes, but he revealed after the practice that even though he got the most out of himself he did not get the most out of the car. "There were one or two areas where it could have been better and for my last two runs I had a massive misfire. I could have gone quicker," said Hakkinen who said he was confident that they could improve the car for the race.
David Coulthard was unable to better fifth fastest time of the session. Although his various sector times were competitive, he admitted that he was unable to string them together for one quick lap.
Villeneuve impresses for BAR
Although Jacques Villeneuve said that his BAR-Honda was down on power for his last run, the Canadian set an impressive fourth fastest time overall to split the two McLarens. "The car was handling well. I made a small mistake which spoiled my first run and had some traffic which slowed another, but I am very happy with fourth," said the Canadian. Ricardo Zonta ended up a disappointed seventeenth, the Brazilian on his way to matching Villeneuve's performance on his second run when he was forced to stop with gear selection problems. He took over the spare car but was unable to match the times with that.
Rows three and four for Jordan
"Considering all the problems we had this morning, the boys did a great job to salvage what we did," said Eddie Jordan after Trulli and Frentzen took sixth and eighth fastest times respectively. "I was lucky to take sixth after the problems this morning," admitted Trulli. Frentzen said, "I had to start from scratch setting up the car for qualifying. I changed it with each run and for the last it was nearly perfect, but I lost time when de la Rosa's Arrows got in the way."
Ralf Schumacher was disappointed to be seventh after running well up this morning. "I made mistakes on my first two runs when I braked too late. I was surprised by Villeneuve's speed," he said. Button was back in 12th spot. "I did not have enough downforce and with the heat of the afternoon the tyres went off when the car started to slide more," he said. Verstappen had to run two cars when he had a hydraulic problem and then he had an engine failure in the second car. De La Rosa was happy with his quickest lap, the two Arrows tenth and eleventh on the grid. Both Prost drivers complained of understeer, which left them back on the tenth row.
Pos Driver Team Times
1. M.Schumacher Ferrari 1:23.770 248.523 km/h
2. Barrichello Ferrari 1:23.797 + 0.027
3. Hakkinen McLaren Mercedes 1:23.967 + 0.197
4. Villeneuve BAR Honda 1:24.238 + 0.468
5. Coulthard McLaren Mercedes 1:24.290 + 0.520
6. Trulli Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:24.477 + 0.707
7. R.Schumacher Williams BMW 1:24.516 + 0.746
8. Frentzen Jordan Mugen-Honda 1:24.786 + 1.016
9. Fisichella Benetton Playlife 1:24.789 + 1.019
10. de la Rosa Arrows Supertec 1:24.814 + 1.044
11. Verstappen Arrows Supertec 1:24.820 + 1.050
12. Button Williams BMW 1:24.907 + 1.137
13. Wurz Benetton Playlife 1:25.150 + 1.380
14. Irvine Jaguar Cosworth 1:25.251 + 1.481
15. Salo Sauber Petronas 1:25.322 + 1.552
16. Diniz Sauber Petronas 1:25.324 + 1.554
17. Zonta BAR Honda 1:25.337 + 1.567
18. Herbert Jaguar Cosworth 1:25.388 + 1.618
19. Alesi Prost Peugeot 1:25.558 + 1.788
20. Heidfeld Prost Peugeot 1:25.625 + 1.855
21. Gene Minardi Fondmetal 1:26.336 + 2.566
22. Mazzacane Minardi Fondmetal 1:27.360 + 3.590
All timing unofficial