Australian GP Friday qualifying report

It was a dry day for qualifying at Adelaide, with the chance of showers on Sunday estinated at 30%-40%. Hill was fastest this morning, with Schumacher 2nd fastest. They were the only two to record times in the 1:16s. Irvine was first out onto...

It was a dry day for qualifying at Adelaide, with the chance of showers on Sunday estinated at 30%-40%. Hill was fastest this morning, with Schumacher 2nd fastest. They were the only two to record times in the 1:16s.

Irvine was first out onto the track. On his first flying lap he was locking up a lot, and recorded a 29.978 at the first intermediate, 53.783 at the second and a 1:23.068 at the end of the lap. The second flying lap was better with 27.048, 49.618 and 1:17.825 being the times at the intermediates, and the end of the lap. As he came onto the straight to finish the lap, he almost lost it, and slid over the kerb. This time was 3 tenths slower than his best time from the morning.

Morbidelli, Martini and Lagorce all come out then. As does Barrichello who is 8th after his first flying lap. He is running a lot of rear wing. On his next flying lap Morbidelli spins and gets in the way of Barrichello, and also of Martini. Lagorce goes 5th fastest.

On Barrichello's 6th flying lap he was -.207 faster than Irvine's first split, -.366 faster than the second and -.288 at the end of the lap to take provisional pole, and make it (temporarily) an all-Jordan front row. Alesi came out at this point, and the top six were as follows:

Barrichello, Irvine, Panis, Brundle, Lagorce, Morbidelli.

Irvine then went out on his second set of flying laps, only 17 minutes into the session. Alesi goes +.264 slower than Barrichello's time to put himself into provisional second. On the next lap he was +.343 slower at the second intermediate and +.372 at the end of the lap, so no improvement.

Katayama moves up to 6th place. Frentzen spins, but avoids the barriers and gets it going again. Berger comes out of the pits, and Zanardi moves into 10th place. Then Mansell, who was 4th fastest this morning, comes out - the first of the Williams and Benetton cars to make an appearance.

Irvine retakes provisional 2nd place from Alesi. Then Mansell goes -.440 faster than Barrichello at the first intermediate, -.430 faster at the second and -.691 faster at the end of the lap, to take provisional pole away with a 1:16.846.

Brundle then comes out, followed shortly thereafter by Hill. Hill on his first flying lap is +.539 slower than Mansell's first intermediate time, and 1.5 seconds slower at the end of the lap, which puts him into 7th place. Mansell then puts in a 1:16.512 on his 6th flying lap, and returns to the pits. This time leaves a gap of 1 second between provisional 1st and provisional 2nd. Schumacher is still in his car in the pits.

Hill is +1.369 off Mansell's pace on his 5th flying lap, which moves him up to 6th. The standings at this time were:

Mansell, Barrichello, Hakkinen, Irvine, Alesi, Hill.

Hill is briefly caught behind one of the Ligiers but puts in a time +.318 off Mansell's time, to move up to 2nd. Herbert then comes out of the pits, and a while later, Schumacher follows. Hill gets caught behind Herbert, but doesn't pit, or back off to get a bit of space. He pits on the next lap, having effectively wasted a lap.

Schumacher practically stops the car to let Alboretto get well ahead of him. On his first flying lap his times are +.083, +.171 and +.068 slower than Mansell's, which puts him in to second place. On the next lap his times are -.302, -.071 and -.315 faster than Mansell, to take provisional pole. The section between the first and second intermediate is the fastest part of the track, and it is clear that it is here that the Benetton is losing out to the Williams.

On his 5th flying lap, there are 24 minutes left in the session, and Schumacher is +.158 slower at the first intermediate. He is pushing very hard, and goes completely over the kerbs on the exit of one corner, the car bottoms out badly, and Schumacher backs off and returns to the pits.

Hill comes out again, to have his second run. His time at this point is 6 tenths slower than Schumacher's. At the exit of the final corner before the start of his first flying lap of this run he almost slides the car into a barrier, and is +1.343 off at the first intermediate. At the second he is +1.303 off and finishes the lap +1.930 slower than Schumacher.

On Hill's 10th lap out of a possible 12 he is +.432 slower at the first intermediate, with traffic in the form of a Ferrari and a McLaren some way in front of him. He is +.603 slower at the 2nd intermediate, passes the McLaren, and then Berger spins up ahead, locking up and parking it in some gravel. Hill finishes the lap +1.123 slower than Schumacher's time. The next lap is not much better, with him +.691 off the pace at the 2nd intermediate and +1.021 off at the end of the lap. As Hill starts his last lap, a Pacific gets quickly out of the way, but still Hill doesn't improve his time, and returns to the pits with 11 minutes left in the session.

Schumacher starts preparing for another run, as Mansell sits in his car watching the monitor. The standings at the moment are: Schumacher, Mansell, Hill, Hakkinen, Barrichello, Irvine.

Herbert goes out for another run, as does Mansell. Shortly after that Schumacher also comes out. Herbert spins his Benetton on the exit of a corner, Alboretto and Morbidelli come around the corner, but manage to avoid him, then Mansell exits the corner very wide, and has to go into a quick spin to avoid crashing in to Herbert. There is then eneough of a break in the traffic to allow both of them to spin around to face the right direction again, and get going. Schiaterella then spins coming onto the start-finish straight.

Mansell then puts in a lap that is -.018 faster than Schumacher to take provisional pole and goes on to miss the corner at the end of the straight, but drives harmlessly into a runoff road, and rejoins. Schumacher is then +.460 slower than Mansell's time. There are two minutes left in the session, giving Schumacher the possibility of only 2 more laps. Schumacher, under pressure, finally cracks, and loses it at the Ayrton Senna chicane (another one !). The car goes left rear first into a tyre wall, with a heavy impact, losing the wing, right rear and bits of suspension and body work; the car then hit again with the front left, taking off the wheel and the nose of the car. Schumacher climbs out unhurt, but visibly annoyed with himself and the session is red-flagged because of all the debris on the track. Since there are only 1 minute and 7 seconds left, it is not re-started. The final standings are:

Mansell, Schumacher, Hill, Hakkinen, Barrichello, Irvine, Herbert, Alesi, Brundle, Frentzen, Berger, Panis, Blundell, Zanardi, Katayama, Alboretto, Lehto, Martini, Fittipaldi, Lagorce, Morbidelli, Salo, Noda, Brabham, Deletraz, Schiaterella and Belmondo in 27th. Gachot did not appear on the track.

-- Christine.

If it makes goo on the windscreen, we'll call it a bug. -- Larry Wall

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ayrton Senna
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan