Barrichello claims pole for British GP

Barrichello claims pole for British GP

Rubens Barrichello will start the British Grand Prix from pole position after a flying qualifying lap that set the best time right at the start of the session. The Ferrari man was out second and clocked a 1:21.209, only Renault's Jarno Trulli ...

Rubens Barrichello will start the British Grand Prix from pole position after a flying qualifying lap that set the best time right at the start of the session. The Ferrari man was out second and clocked a 1:21.209, only Renault's Jarno Trulli getting close, within two tenths. Kimi Raikkonen was third for McLaren, nearly half a second down.

Rubens Barrichello.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Warm, dry conditions greeted the all important Saturday qualifying and Justin Wilson was first man out, after failing to set a time yesterday when the Minardi died on his out lap. The Englishman clocked a 1:25.468 to start the proceedings. Barrichello was next, relegated to the back after ending his qualifying in the gravel yesterday. The Ferrari was fastest in warm-up and Barrichello set the much more realistic 1:21.209, over four seconds faster than the Minardi.

Jos Verstappen in the second Minardi set an identical time to his teammate in sector one but ended up slower by a few tenths to go third. Jordan's Ralph Firman was over three seconds off pole by the middle sector but beat the Minardis for second. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella followed on and was quicker than Firman by eight tenths to take over the second place.

The track temperature climbed a couple of degrees as Heinz-Harald Frentzen started the second group, the Sauber the next to go into second. Teammate Nick Heidfeld had a mediocre lap for fourth, seven tenths down on Frentzen. Jacques Villeneuve was the first BAR and had a good lap to steal second from Frentzen.

Kimi Raikkonen was half a second off Barrichello, despite having a trouble free lap, the McLaren taking over the ever-popular second position. It would appear Barrichello was on fairly light fuel to get the good top spot. Antonio Pizzonia put his Jaguar into fourth behind Villeneuve to round off the group.

Cristiano da Matta had a very good lap to put the Toyota third and he was followed by Jenson Button. The BAR started well but developed a suspension problem after hitting the kerb and Button pulled off onto the grass. He will now have to start tomorrow's race from the back of the grid, or from the pit lane should BAR take that option.

Mark Webber was bit untidy at Becketts and it was a scrappy lap that put him behind teammate Pizzonia for sixth. David Coulthard was unhappy with his McLaren in warm up and had a poor lap that only achieved seventh, which surely will not please him. Jarno Trulli was the first Renault and had a very good lap, fastest in sectors two and three to take over second place.

Olivier Panis started the final group, after scoring a good fifth place yesterday but the Toyota lost out badly in the final sector to go ninth, way behind teammate da Matta. The wind seemed to be interfering somewhat with set up, leaving some drivers a bit adrift. Fernando Alonso struggled to fifth, over a second off Renault teammate Trulli.

Ralf Schumacher commenced the Williams challenge and was a bit ragged at the first few corners, seeming to fight the car all the way, going fourth on his lap. Teammate Juan Pablo Montoya had an even more uncomfortable time, only managing sixth. Michael Schumacher was last man out, slightly faster than Barrichello in the first sector but got well out of shape in the dust and on the grass in sector two, which left him fifth.

It does seem that the wind and a little less grip from the rising temperature interfered in the latter stages of the session but it made for an interesting grid. Barrichello can't be faulted for his performance and Trulli made a very good effort too. Raikkonen must be pleased after what was a fairly mediocre lap by his standards but Coulthard finally wound up twelfth. Great performance from da Matta but disappointing from Williams. Final top eight classification: Barrichello, Trulli, Raikkonen, R. Schumacher, M. Schumacher, da Matta, Montoya, Alonso.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan