Mixed emotions at the end of qualifying for Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda as Jarno Trulli claimed fifth on the grid but problems for Jean Alesi meant he could not improve on 16th place. 'A great qualifying for me,' said Trulli. 'I'm really...
Mixed emotions at the end of qualifying for Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda as Jarno Trulli claimed fifth on the grid but problems for Jean Alesi meant he could not improve on 16th place.
'A great qualifying for me,' said Trulli. 'I'm really happy for me and the team; everyone did a great job. We did the best we could with the car and I'm really pleased. I'm looking forward to tomorrow because, with the help of this new tyre from Bridgestone for this weekend, we have a good chance of being competitive throughout the race. Today was a good job from everybody on the team.'
The 60-minute session, run in dry, sunny conditions, was stopped with four minutes remaining because of an accident. The eight-minute break disrupted Alesi's flow as he tried to improve his car.
'The worst qualifying I can imagine here,' said Alesi. 'We were not able to prepare the car correctly for qualifying because of a gearbox problem which cost me time in the morning. It meant I had no chance all through qualifying to find the correct balance. My main problem was the braking; I was not able to brake with confidence and I also had traffic problems at one stage, which didn't help.'
'It was a case of good and bad for us today,' said Eddie Jordan. 'A good qualifying from Jarno to be two cars in front of the McLarens, which is nice. But very disappointing for Jean particularly at this circuit. He's led here before, been on pole, and we've got to find what the problem was because, for Jean,16th is not what you would expect from him at Monza.'
Juan Pablo Montoya took pole position for Williams. The main surprise of qualifying was Rubens Barrichello taking second place, the first time for more than a year that the Brazilian has qualified his Ferrari ahead of Michael Schumacher. The World Champion said he made a mistake on his fastest run and added that he has found it difficult to concentrate 100 per cent this weekend. Ralf Schumacher was fourth fastest, over half a second slower than his team-mate after struggling to find a balance on his Williams.
The McLarens of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen were sixth and seventh, Hakkinen surviving a high-speed crash at the exit of Lesmo 2 while pushing too hard. The session was stopped while the wrecked car was removed.