Monaco GP Coulthard clinches pole position

Monte Carlo, 2001-05-26 - David Coulthard put his McLaren on pole position for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix by a comfortable two-tenth's of a second margin this afternoon, the Scot delighted with his final flying lap that gave him the pole. "I made...

Monte Carlo, 2001-05-26 - David Coulthard put his McLaren on pole position for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix by a comfortable two-tenth's of a second margin this afternoon, the Scot delighted with his final flying lap that gave him the pole. "I made a small mistake at the swimming pool on my third run, otherwise I had a good session," said David. "I lost a bit of confidence after hitting the barrier at Tabac on Thursday. Before qualifying I had not driven the last sector quickly and it was there I made up my time," added David.

Mika Hakkinen lost his chances of pole in the last sector when he made a small change to the car, which did not work. "It was only a minor change and I was not 100 percent sure it was going to work," said Mika. "It worked fine for the first half of the lap, but I got understeer into Rascasse at the end of the lap and that spoiled my chance," he explained, the change he made thought to be a change in the tyre pressures.

Michael Schumacher held the pole for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro until the final seconds of practice, but ended up in second place after missing his chance on his final flying lap. "Somebody moved the barrier," said Michael with a smile after running wide into Portier and hitting the rear wheel against the kerb, which saw him pull off the track after the tunnel. My first run was spoiled by the two Arrows which did not look in their mirrors and my best run was my third, although the last could have been better," said Michael who has Hakkinen behind him on the grid.

Rubens Barrichello shares the second row with Hakkinen after setting fourth fastest time with which he was disappointed. "The car was not handling very well this morning, but we improved it for the qualifying and I could have been on the front row had I not locked a front brake and flat spotted a front tyre on my last flying lap," said Rubens.

Ralf Schumacher put the BMW-Williams on the third row of the grid, but was upset not to be higher up after Jenson Button had blocked his quickest final lap coming out of Rascasse. Juan-Pablo Montoya ended up in seventh fastest, the Colombian having two brushes with the barriers during the session, which bent two tie-rods in the suspension.

David Coulthard. At Mirabeau corner. Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"The car worked perfectly. Everything we thought the car would do after the test in Valencia it did," said a delighted Eddie Irvine, who set a strong sixth place for Jaguar, his car running the new rear end suspension, diffuser and aerodynamic modifications to day, which have helped improve the handling a lot. Pedro de la Rosa also had the new modifications on his car, but was unable to better 14th fastest, the Spaniard still trying to catch up the time lost on Thursday when a stuck throttle saw him hit the barrier.

Jarno Trulli was disappointed with his eighth place despite setting the quickest time of the two Jordan drivers. "It was very tough as I thought. The car felt nervous with the tyres we used and I wasn't that confident to push harder here," said Jarno. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was having the same problems, the German pushing a bit too hard on his final lap which saw him spin going into Portier which left him back in 13th place.

Jacques Villeneuve put his BAR-Honda into ninth place after a trouble free session, his teammate Olivier Panis complaining of too much understeer from his car that saw him starting back in 12th spot.

The slow speed circuit saw the Benetton team better placed than they have been all season, Giancarlo Fisichella taking tenth spot and disappointed not to be higher after going straight on at St Devote on his final flying lap. Jenson Button was back in 17th position complaining of too much understeer from his car. It was a bad session for the Sauber team. Nick Heidfeld had to use the T-car because of an electronic throttle problem with his race car.. He found traffic on his best run, had worn tyres on his next and then got a yellow flag on his final run leaving him in 16th spot. Kimi Raikkonen failed to get a good lap, the Finn having trouble with his car at the hairpins, but not happy with its performance generally at this track. He was 15th fastest just ahead of his teammate. A blown engine for Verstappen and a fuel leak for Bernoldi saw them miss most of the morning session and catching up in qualifying.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan