Coulthard sets his stall out for pole attack

McLaren's David Coulthard headed the time sheets by just 94 thousandths of a second at the end of final practice for the season-closing Malaysian Grand Prix

Coulthard sets his stall out for pole attack

The Scot got the jump on new world champion Michael Schumacher 14 minutes from the end of the second and final Saturday morning practice heading into qualifying with a 1m 38.109s lap. And he did it despite a brief trip across the grass at Langkawi Curve 15 minutes earlier.

Schumacher was second quickest for Ferrari and Alexander Wurz, who was confirmed yesterday as 2001 test driver for McLaren, was a surprise addition to the front runners in third place - just two-tenths slower than the front row duo in his Benetton.

The Austrian's best lap was enough to demote double champion Mika Hakkinen to fourth and keep Rubens Barrichello, who has to win to have a chance of taking third in the drivers' championship from Coulthard, fifth.

Johnny Herbert, heading into his last Grand Prix sits sixth, lapping just three thousandths faster than Jaguar team mate Eddie Irvine in seventh.

The temperature edged into the 30s again as McLaren prepared for afternoon qualifying where they are looking to do the ground work to set up a one-two finish on Sunday to deny Ferrari the constructors' world championship.

It's a tall order because their rivals have a 13-point lead and need just one car in the top four - a feat they have achieved in every race this season - to add the teams' trophy to the drivers' title Schumacher won in Japan.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen's misfortunes continued as he dumped his Jordan into the sand at Kenyir Lake Corner to wind up 20th. In the morning session he did just one lap before pulling up in the pit lane.

For final combined Saturday practice results click here.

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Schumacher takes pole number nine in Malaysia

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