Rubens Barrichello proved Farrari's faith in him by storming to pole position in the Austrian Grand Prix qualifying session, knocking spots off team-mate Michael Schumacher. Schumacher's A1-Ring jinx continued as the current champion could only ...
Rubens Barrichello proved Farrari's faith in him by storming to pole position in the Austrian Grand Prix qualifying session, knocking spots off team-mate Michael Schumacher. Schumacher's A1-Ring jinx continued as the current champion could only manage third on the grid -- alongside the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya in fourth.
All through the session Michael and Barrichello battled for pole along with a suddenly revitalized McLaren, David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen running a 1-2 about half way through. Williams also showed well, the increasing track temperature throughout qualifying growing more suited to the Michelin tyres.
The A1-Ring is a low grip track and soft tyres were the order of the day. In sunny conditions and an initial track temperature of 29C Minardi's Mark Webber was the first to venture out, only to slow drastically before picking up again. He clocked the first time of qualifying, a 1:13.749, two seconds off his time in practice.
The track temperature climbed to 30C, Juan Pablo Montoya was out early for Williams but came straight back into the pits with some kind of problem with his race car. He had a bit of a wait to take to the T-car as it was set up for Ralf Schumacher. Williams were running a different front wing this weekend, similar to the Ferrari set up.
Alex Yoong spun his Minardi as did Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella - apparently Fisichella was not happy with the qualifying engine and reverted to the previous one. Renault's Jarno Trulli had an engine fire, spreading oil all over the track, causing Barrichello to go very wide on turn eight after skidding in the Renault's oil. Arrows' Heinz-Harald Frentzen also hit the oil and back-ended into the gravel and the session was red flagged as Trulli ground to a halt at the entrance of the pit lane.
There was a delay due to a huge amount of oil on the track and by the time the pit entrance was open again track temperature was up to 31C. Ralf Schumacher took provisional pole as Michael spun but still managed second fastest. Barrichello was flying and improved pole to a 1:08.261.Michael took to the T-car for some reason and Barrichello bettered his time yet again while Raikkonen outqualified David Coulthard once more. Final top six classification: Barrichello, R. Schumacher, M. Schumacher, Montoya, Heidfeld, Raikkonen.