Renault's Jarno Trulli had a storming lap to take provisional pole in Friday's qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, a best of 1:22.358 from the Italian beating the Williams of Ralf Schumacher by five hundredths of a second. Mark Webber...
Renault's Jarno Trulli had a storming lap to take provisional pole in Friday's qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, a best of 1:22.358 from the Italian beating the Williams of Ralf Schumacher by five hundredths of a second. Mark Webber scored a respectable third for Jaguar while championship leaders Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen slid down the order.
Conditions remained fine and dry and standing's leader Michael was first to take his flying lap. The Ferrari set a 1:23.430 to start the proceedings, about one and a half seconds slower than Olivier Panis's fastest in free practice. Montoya followed on and was off the pace of the German initially but scraped into provisional pole with a 1:23.305 after a good last sector.
Raikkonen had the same first sector time as Michael but was slightly down in two. The McLaren dropped back further in sector three after running wide at turn 11 and set the third fastest time. Ralf was by far the fastest through sector one and followed it up with two more good ones to take provisional pole with a 1:22.413, nearly nine tenths up on Montoya. The second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello had an average start but picked up well to slot into second four tenths behind Ralf.
The second group started with the Renault of Fernanso Alonso, who was also fairly slow initially but had a storming last sector, the best so far, and went third, half a second off Ralf. David Coulthard, who had his McLaren seat for next year confirmed this morning, was next up. The Scot improved by the sector to match Alonso in the last and take second, three tenths off pole but almost a second up on teammate Raikkonen.
Jarno Trulli put in a scorching lap all round, the best first and last sectors to knock Ralf off provisional pole by five hundredths of a second; 1:22.358. Jenson Button was the first BAR and was seven tenths down in the first two sectors and finished nearly two second off pole in ninth. A large gap between the top four teams and BAR. Webber completed the group and had a very quick middle sector that put the Jaguar third quickest, two tenths off pole.
Giancarlo Fisichella, who had an unsettled morning with engine problems, started the third group and was a full second down in sector one. Things did not get any better for the Jordan driver and he finished eleventh, over two seconds down. Cristiano da Matta was the first Toyota and spun at the end of his lap which wasted his efforts and left him twelfth. Heinz-Harald Frentzen followed on, a good first sector for the Sauber and although he lost out somewhat, a reasonable result in tenth.
Olivier Panis, who was fastest in practice this morning, couldn't find the pace of the top six but with track conditions better than at the start of qualifying he beat the likes of Montoya and Michael to clock seventh fastest. Jacques Villeneuve finished the group, the second BAR slotting into thirteenth behind teammate Button.
The final group kicked off with Nick Heidfeld and he managed to usurp the tenth position from teammate Frentzen, a slightly improved result for Sauber than recent races. Jordan's Ralph Firman couldn't do better than sixteenth, one behind Fisichella. Jos Verstappen was the first Minardi and was over three seconds off the pace in 17th.
Former teammate Justin Wilson, who had problems in practice, didn't get much better, over a second down in sector one. He lost another half in the middle and picked up slightly at the end for 15th -- disappointing for Jaguar. Nicolas Kiesa closed the session, the young Dane failing to appear in practice due to an engine failure. He managed to be quicker than teammate Verstappen through one but lost out in sector two to end up nineteenth, only the spinning da Matta slower.
An interesting session; the first runners lost out to the dusty Hungaroring track, Raikkonen outside the top ten and Montoya and Michael just scraping in. The top eight were within a second and Michelin had the upper hand, seven top ten runners to Bridgestone's three. Jordan and BAR had a dismal time while Sauber seems to have found a little bit of pace. Renault was the best of the top teams with two in the top six but, as always, tomorrow will be the one to watch. Final top eight classification: Trulli, R. Schumacher, Webber, Coulthard, Barrichello, Alonso, Panis, Montoya.