Atlas F1 News Service

European GP Qualifying: Michael Heads All-Schumacher Front Row

Saturday June 23rd, 2001

Michael Schumacher celebrates his pole, todayMichael Schumacher continued his impressive qualifying record as he claimed his seventh pole position of the season for the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany. Racing in front of his home crowd, German Schumacher beat the challenge of his younger brother Ralf in a Williams to put his Ferrari at the front of the grid. It was also his 39th career pole position.

European Minardi driver Tarso Marques was the first driver out on the track and he was forced to stop on his out-lap at the Veedol chicane as he struggled to find drive. The Brazilian driver got going again and set a fastest lap, but it was in the one minute-20 seconds and was never going to trouble pole position.

As the temperature on track got slightly warmer, Jacques Villeneuve was the second driver out in his British American Racing car and he broke into the one minute-17s. That provided the signal for all the big-guns to come out and McLaren's David Coulthard set provisional pole, despite an untidy trip through the Veedol chicane, when he went into the one minute-16s.

The German crowd were then treated to the start of the Schumacher brothers' battle that they had waited to see as Ralf set provisional pole in his Williams with a blistering lap in the one minute-15s. Michael Schumacher then came out of his pit in his Ferrari two minutes after his younger brother's flying lap and despite a determined effort he failed to knock Ralf off pole as he was less than two-tenths slower.

Coulthard's teammate Mika Hakkinen, meanwhile, was struggling to find his practice pace but he did set the third fastest time after 35 minutes of the hour-long session. Ralf then bettered his provisional pole time as he went two-tenths quicker to increase the pressure on his brother Michael and the remainder of the field.

But pressure is what Michael thrives on and moments later he put more downforce on his car and immediately snatched pole position from Ralf with a lap that dropped him into the one minute-14s, much to the delight of the grandstands. The McLarens were still struggling to get into the battle for pole and Ralf Schumacher's teammate Juan Pablo Montoya sneaked into third place with Coulthard fourth and Hakkinen fifth as the session entered its latter stages.

Rubens Barrichello then boosted himself to fourth in his Ferrari and German Heinz-Harald Frentzen rose from 11th to eighth on the grid with a late lap in his Jordan, one place behind teammate Jarno Trulli. Late laps from Coulthard, Hakkinen and Montoya failed to make an impact and Coulthard spun at the last corner to force the yellow flags to be issued, which slowed all the drivers.

That left Michael Schumacher on pole, with Ralf second, Montoya third, Barrichello fourth, Coulthard fifth and Hakkinen sixth for the front-three rows of the grid for the European Grand Prix.

Pos  Driver        Team                    Times                 
 1.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari            (B)  1:14.960  218.805 km/h
 2.  R.Schumacher  Williams BMW       (M)  1:15.226    +    0.266
 3.  Montoya       Williams BMW       (M)  1:15.490    +    0.530
 4.  Barrichello   Ferrari            (B)  1:15.622    +    0.662
 5.  Coulthard     Mclaren Mercedes   (B)  1:15.717    +    0.757
 6.  Hakkinen      Mclaren Mercedes   (B)  1:15.776    +    0.816
 7.  Trulli        Jordan Honda       (B)  1:16.138    +    1.178
 8.  Frentzen      Jordan Honda       (B)  1:16.376    +    1.416
 9.  Raikkonen     Sauber Petronas    (B)  1:16.402    +    1.442
10.  Heidfeld      Sauber Petronas    (B)  1:16.438    +    1.478
11.  Villeneuve    BAR Honda          (B)  1:16.439    +    1.479
12.  Irvine        Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  1:16.588    +    1.628
13.  Panis         BAR Honda          (B)  1:16.872    +    1.912
14.  Alesi         Prost Acer         (M)  1:17.251    +    2.291
15.  Fisichella    Benetton Renault   (M)  1:17.378    +    2.418
16.  de la Rosa    Jaguar Cosworth    (M)  1:17.627    +    2.667
17.  Burti         Prost Acer         (M)  1:18.113    +    3.153
18.  Bernoldi      Arrows Asiatech    (B)  1:18.151    +    3.191
19.  Verstappen    Arrows Asiatech    (B)  1:18.262    +    3.302
20.  Button        Benetton Renault   (M)  1:18.626    +    3.666
21.  Alonso        Minardi European   (M)  1:18.630    +    3.670
22.  Marques       Minardi European   (M)  1:18.689    +    3.729

All Timing Unofficial

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