Local favourite Barrichello secures first Brazilian pole. David Coulthard and Mark Webber shine for Michelin. It was another strong day for Michelin, whose partner teams claimed seven of the top 10 places on the grid. Rubens Barrichello...
Local favourite Barrichello secures first Brazilian pole. David Coulthard and Mark Webber shine for Michelin. It was another strong day for Michelin, whose partner teams claimed seven of the top 10 places on the grid.
Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) sent the Interlagos crowd into raptures today by securing the seventh pole position of his Formula One career and his first on home soil but he knows he will have a fight on its hands tomorrow. Barrichello pipped leading Michelin runner David Coulthard (West McLaren-Mercedes) by just 0.011s and only 1.032s covered the fastest 15 qualifiers.
The established front-running teams weren't the only serious pole position challengers. Fastest yesterday, Mark Webber (Jaguar Racing/Michelin) was on course to annex his and his team's first F1 pole after two-thirds of a lap, but he lost a little bit of time in the final sector and had to settle for third place, just 0.044s adrift of Barrichello. Webber said: "Our car is very competitive here. We have done a lot of good work this weekend and it feels especially good after all the troubles we had during the previous race in Malaysia. The team has made good progress and this is a nice reward."
Kimi Räikkönen (WestMcLaren-Mercedes, fourth) was best of the rest Michelin drivers and, after qualifying on the front row in Malaysia, the Michelin-shod Renaults starred once again. Seasoned campaigner Jarno Trulli (fifth) had the edge on team-mate Fernando Alonso (10th), whose preparations were hampered by a couple of minor off-track excursions yesterday. Ralf Schumacher (sixth) outqualified BMW WilliamsF1 team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya (ninth) for the first time this season. Both drivers had much smoother runs than yesterday.
Of the remaining Michelin runners, Toyota team-mates Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta (Toyota) struggled to string together clean laps. Panis set the pace during this morning's final free practice session, but he ran wide at the start of his qualifying lap and ended up 15th. Da Matta (18th) had scare during the morning when he spun and stalled at the first turn. Several following drivers had to take avoiding action, but the car was eventually removed to safety. Webber's Jaguar team-mate Antonio Pizzonia also had a difficult time as he prepared for his maiden home GP and he lines up 17th.
And world champion Michael Schumacher? Still searching for his first podium finish of the season, the Ferrari star was only seventh.