Pole an unexpected surprise for Ralf

Ralf Schumacher has said that he surprised himself by claiming just his second pole position in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix

Pole an unexpected surprise for Ralf

Gerhard Berger, BMW's Motorsport Director, has praised the Williams team for its strong qualifying performance, with Juan Pablo Montoya lining up third in the team's other car. The Austrian reckons that a win is on the cards for the race - assuming a Williams is leading into the first corner.

"Looking at this morning's times I really did not expect to be on pole today and obviously I am very pleased about my second pole," said Schumacher. "Driving in Monaco is a great challenge and if your car has the right balance then it is a true pleasure.

"I must say thanks to the whole team for the great job they have done and also to Michelin for their tyres which seem to be very consistent here. We have all had a couple of hard weeks and achieving this success feels very good now. However, tomorrow is the day that really counts."

Gerhard Berger was quick to praise both driver and team. "Ralf has produced a fantastic performance today," he said. "All the team has done a stunning job, congratulations to all."

Montoya started from pole for the team last year, but was beaten into the first corner by McLaren's David Coulthard. Berger added: "I only hope we will have a better start than last year and that there will be an FW25 leading out of the first corner. Should this happen, we can even begin to think about winning the race. I believe we look good in terms of strategy."

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