Giancarlo Fisichella put his Jordan Honda EJ12 on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's German Grand Prix after producing a strong performance throughout qualifying to give DHL Jordan Honda a vital boost. Team mate Takuma Sato pushed hard and...
Giancarlo Fisichella put his Jordan Honda EJ12 on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's German Grand Prix after producing a strong performance throughout qualifying to give DHL Jordan Honda a vital boost. Team mate Takuma Sato pushed hard and was only four tenths of a second slower, enough to push him back to 12th place.
In a qualifying session dominated at the front by a titanic battle between Michael and Ralf Schumacher, decided only on the final run when the World Champion beat his brother's time by two tenths, the performance of DHL Jordan Honda provided strong interest as Fisichella battled with the McLarens to find a place on the third row of the grid.
The quickest of the Honda drivers, Fisichella faced a strong challenge from Oliver Panis in the faster of the BARs, but ultimately held sway. Kimi Raikkonen put his McLaren 5th on the grid, behind Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari and Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams, but David Coulthard had a difficult session and was back in 9th spot behind the two Honda-powered cars and Jarno Trulli's Renault.
"I am very pleased," admitted Fisichella afterwards. "This morning I didn't believe we could be sixth, although I was confident that we could be in the top ten. Top six is really good and we actually had the chance to be fifth. I worked very well with my engineer, the team did a good job and the step forward with the engine was an especially good help."
For Takuma Sato, whose 12th position on the grid is his best qualifying result of the season so far, there was considerable satisfaction, particularly considering the fact that an exhaust problem this morning had cost him valuable set-up time.
"It was frustrating that I lost about 15 minutes during practice this morning due to a problem with the exhaust because we spent some of the qualifying session improving the set-up," reported Taku. "We managed to fix the oversteer problems I had at the beginning of qualifying but we could have improved more if we had started qualifying from a better position, so that was a shame. Still, this is my best qualifying of the season so I'm quite pleased."
Gary Anderson, Jordan's Director of Race and Test Engineering was very satisfied with today's work. "At the end we thought fifth was possible, but we didn't quite get the lap in. I'm very pleased with Giancarlo, it's good to see him back. Takuma also did a good job."
Fisichella's performance, one week after suffering a high speed accident in practice for the French Grand Prix which resulted in him being unable to race, was certainly a post-qualifying talking point.
There was disappointment in qualifying for Alex Yoong, who failed to qualify his Minardi within the 107% limit, while Jaguar were down in 16th and 20th places and Allan McNish outqualified team mate Mika Salo, albeit 17th to 19th. After all his recent troubles with uncertainty surrounding his team, Heinz-Harald Frentzen qualified 15th for his home Grand Prix, with team mate Enrique Bernoldi three places further back.