Saturday June 23rd, 2001
The Sauber team were delighted after having both their cars in the top ten in Saturday's qualifying for the European Grand Prix, and both Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Raikkonen were much happier with their cars today.
Finn Raikkonen showed again his impressive talent by setting the ninth fastest time on his first visit to the German track, outqualifying once more his more experienced Sauber teammate.
The 21-year old was pleased with his car's handling and vowed to fight for the points again after finishing fourth at the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
"I lost my last run when Coulthard went off in the last corner, but in any case a Benetton had gone off just in front of me so I probably wasn't going to improve," said Raikkonen. "The car was much better today, though not quite perfect.
"If you look at the times in our group, we are all very close so every tiny bit helps. It's difficult to say what might happen tomorrow, but for sure we can fight for points again."
German Heidfeld, returning to the Nurburgring circuit after a nightmare Grand Prix last year when he was disqualified for using illegal fuel, was pleased after posting the tenth quickest time of the day in front the his fans, but he admitted he made a mistake on his final run that could have seen him move further up the grid.
"The track was better today, and having struggled a little yesterday we were able to improve the car as well and it felt less nervous," Heidfeld said. "Unfortunately I ran wide in the first chicane on my final run and wasn't able to improve further, but 10th on the grid is a good place to start."