Ferrari dominated the first qualifying session for the Canadian Grand Prix, where the rain didn't relent which caused some comparatively slow lap times. Rubens Barrichello took the honours with a best of 1:30.925, a second ahead of Ferrari...
Ferrari dominated the first qualifying session for the Canadian Grand Prix, where the rain didn't relent which caused some comparatively slow lap times. Rubens Barrichello took the honours with a best of 1:30.925, a second ahead of Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher. Sauber's Nick Heidfeld beat the rain to finish an impressive third, just 1.8 seconds behind Barrichello.
Kimi Raikkonen was first out on the wet and cool track, a 1:35.373 for the McLaren man to start the proceedings. Michael Schumacher followed on and managed to better the Finn despite going off track briefly, a 1:31.969, over three seconds faster. Fernando Alonso had a cautious start to his lap but picked up, the Renault beating Raikkonen by two tenths to slot into second.
Barrichello was next to take over the top spot, a second faster than Schumacher with a 1:30.925. Juan Pablo Montoya completed the first group of five. The Williams driver was down on Barrichello in the first sector and then ran over the grass, which left him fifth fastest, six and a half seconds off the pace.
McLaren's David Coulthard kicked off the second group, the Scot also taking a trip across the grass but managing to post fifth fastest ahead of Montoya. Ralf Schumacher was slower than Montoya in all three sectors and could only manage a time in the low 1:38s, almost five seconds off provisional pole. The track conditions appeared to get worse as the session went on.
Renault's Jarno Trulli was also slow, battling with the rain and finishing eighth in the 1:41s. Or maybe it was his alarmingly bouffant hair that wasn't very aerodynamic. Giancarlo Fisichella was slightly better for Jordan, managing to edge ahead of Trulli but still seven and a half seconds off pole. Jenson Button finished off the group, the BAR driver cleared to drive after his accident at Monaco. The Englishman was an improvement, less than three seconds down in sector one but losing out in the latter part of the lap to slot into seventh.
Sauber's Heinz-Harald Frentzen started the third group with a good first sector and followed it up with two more for a very good fifth position, considering the conditions. Mark Webber was the first Jaguar out and also had a reasonable lap, posting the seventh best time.
Cristiano da Matta managed eleventh in the Toyota on his flying lap and Jacques Villeneuve had a very slow last sector, where he had a bit of a moment, to finish fourteenth. Nick Heidfeld completed the group with a very impressive third fastest, the Bridgestone tyres evidently better in the wet than the Michelins.
Jordan's Ralph Firman, also a Bridgestone runner, kicked off the final group with the rain still coming down. He had an amazingly quick first sector, on a par with Heidfeld, and carried it through to post fourth quickest behind the Sauber. Antonio Pizzonia, who was fastest in the morning practice, was slightly off the pace in fourteenth.
Olivier Panis had a good lap, putting his Toyota tenth, which just left the pair of Minardis to run. Jos Verstappen ventured out first, a neat and tidy lap that gave him a very respectable eleventh place, ahead of both Williams'. Justin Wilson was the final runner, setting an identical first sector time to his teammate and although he dropped back slightly he managed thirteenth behind Montoya.
The rain produced some interesting positions -- it's somewhat an unusual scenario to have the likes of Williams, BAR, Jaguar and Jordan behind a Minardi. The Bridgestone runners had the advantage, the top four all on the manufacturer's rubber, although the top ten was evenly split between Bridgestone and Michelin. Final top eight classification: Barrichello, M. Schumacher, Heidfeld, Firman, Alonso, Raikkonen, Frentzen, Coulthard.