First qualifying: Williams dominates

Ralf Schumacher was fastest in the first qualifying session ahead of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, outpacing his Williams-BMW team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya by just under a quarter of a second. The Ferraris of Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher were only eighth and ninth respectively

First qualifying: Williams dominates

Fourth on track, Ralf beat Montoya's benchmark time by 0.246secs despite braking too late for Turn 2 and overshooting it slightly. He recovered to set a 1m14.427s lap which wouldn't be beaten, ensuring that the Williams duo will go last in tomorrow's session that sets the grid.

After the session, Montoya said: "My car's balance was pretty good. The tyres were great, although I have a different preference to Ralf."

Jarno Trulli was the best of the rest for Renault, but even he couldn't break into the 1m14s bracket. He lapped in 1m15.004s and said: "I have a very good feeling with the car at the moment. We've got a good package here for this weekend."

Mark Webber was fourth fastest for Jaguar with an impressive 1m15.030s effort, but even that was outshone by the team's newboy Justin Wilson, who was seventh fastest in his first ever qualifying session with the outfit. He said: "I was obviously pleased with how it went. I knew the qualifying lap was going to be good when I got a quick run through the first corner."

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest in the second Renault, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren. Behind Wilson came the Ferrari duo, headed by Rubens Barrichello. He was 0.946secs off R Schumacher's time, while Michael S was 1.029secs off the pace.

They were the top Bridgestone runners as Michelin ruled the roost once more. Behind Olivier Panis (Toyota) and David Coulthard (who admitted to being "a little too cautious" in his McLaren) came the Bridgestone-shod Jenson Button (BAR) and the Sauber duo Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Nick Heidfeld.

Toyota's Cristiano da Matta was the slowest of the Michelin runners in 15th, while Ralph Firman beat Giancarlo Fisichella in the battle of the Jordans, and Jos Verstappen was 18th.

Two cars failed to complete their laps: Jacques Villeneuve spun at Turn 1 in his BAR-Honda and crawled back to the pits in disgrace, while grand prix debutant Nicolas Kiesa didn't get out of the pit lane before his Minardi gave out.

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Ralf Fastest in First Qualifying - German GP

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