French GP Williams qualifying notes

It was a strong performance by the BMW WilliamsF1 Team today. Ralf Schumacher took his first pole position in Magny Cours, giving himself a present for his 26th birthday. This pole is the 16th for BMW and the first since its return to Formula 1....

It was a strong performance by the BMW WilliamsF1 Team today. Ralf Schumacher took his first pole position in Magny Cours, giving himself a present for his 26th birthday. This pole is the 16th for BMW and the first since its return to Formula 1. For WilliamsF1 it is the team's 109th pole. Juan Pablo Montoya will start from sixth on the grid.

Ralf Schumacher
Position: Pole
Chassis: FW23 05
Best Time: 1:12.989

"I am really happy about my first pole. It was very tight, in fact I didn't expect after this morning that we were able to beat them here, but it worked out - very tight but tough, it was enough. The team did a great job and I had a very good car. Unfortunately we are not given points for qualifying. I believe it will be a very close race tomorrow and hope for a better start than I had in the Nurburgring. I think we are well prepared for the race and have also made the right tyre choice."

Juan Pablo Montoya
Position: 6th
Chassis: FW23 06
T-Car: FW23 02
Best Time: 1:13.625

"This was a pretty good qualifying and I am feeling quite confident for the race. The car is good, but unfortunately I was blocked on my last lap in the final sector by Jean Alesi."

Patrick Head (Technical Director, WilliamsF1)

"This is an excellent first pole for Ralf, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and for Michelin since its return to the sport. It was certainly a very close one. Juan Pablo was badly held up on his last lap, but, like Ralf, he is happy with his car so we will just have to see what happens tomorrow."

Gerhard Berger (BMW Motorsport Director)

"It is refreshing to see three teams fighting for pole. It was the most interesting qualifying we have seen for quite a while and this close competition is very good for Formula One. Obviously we are very happy with the first pole for BMW in its new era in Formula One. It was a strong performance by Ralf, WilliamsF1 and Michelin. Juan Pablo drove well but unfortunately was held up on his last lap."

-BMW/Williams

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams