Ferrari and Williams battle in Malaysian qualifying

Ferrari and Williams battle in Malaysian qualifying

An interesting qualifying session in Malaysia where Ferrari and Williams fought it out for pole position. It was a humid 35C but dry, Minardi's Alex Yoong the first man to take to the track in his home country. The first fifteen minutes were quite...

An interesting qualifying session in Malaysia where Ferrari and Williams fought it out for pole position. It was a humid 35C but dry, Minardi's Alex Yoong the first man to take to the track in his home country. The first fifteen minutes were quite slow, only a few cars out one at a time; Jarno Trulli heading the early times for Renault until the front runners came out. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was doing well for Arrows after his disrupted practice sessions, keeping it around the edge of the top ten.

McLaren were slightly off the pace of Williams and Ferrari, not able to really challenge. Juan Pablo Montoya then Ralf Schumacher were easily ahead, although Montoya seemed to have the edge. Sauber's Felipe Massa had a puncture on his first trip out and had to run back for the spare car. Montoya and Michael Schumacher argued over pole position while David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen couldn't keep up for McLaren. Jenson Button kept in the top ten for Renault, as did Giancarlo Fisichella in the Jordan.

Michael Schumacher.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
With only twenty minutes of the session left, Olivier Panis had still not set a time: gearbox problems with his car meant he had to take the spare. Toyota's Mika Salo was running well although team mate Allan McNish was in the back markers along with Minardi and Jaguar. Nick Heidfeld stayed in the top ten for Sauber while Massa managed fourteenth, struggling with the spare car. Panis finally got a qualifying lap in but again the BARs were well off the pace. Michael Schumacher set a blistering lap of 1:35.266, about the same as last year's pole time, and remained unmovable afterwards.

Everyone seemed to have problems with the middle sector of the track, losing time there; Michael Schumacher was fastest in the first sector, Montoya in the second and third. In the final seconds Barrichello split the two Williams' when he took third, Heidfeld in seventh the best of the rest behind the top three teams. Final classification: M. Schumacher, 1:35.266, Montoya, Barrichello, R. Schumacher, Raikkonen, Coulthard.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan