Qual: Schuey pips Rubens

Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello put aside predictions that the Hungarian Grand Prix would be one of Ferrari's toughest weekends of the season by making it an all-red front row for the fourth time this year for Sunday's race at the Hungaroring.

Qual: Schuey pips Rubens

Bridgestone has brought a new and improved tyre with it to Budapest after its humiliation at the circuit last year, that combined with a lower track temperature that the Hungaroring rarely sees ensured Schumacher and the ever-dominant F2004 notched up their seventh pole position of the season with his only challenger being his team-mate Barrichello.

"Compared to last year it's significantly better," the German said. "We have worked very hard for this result and gave a big push in testing at Jerez, where it was very hot and a great preparation for here. That's why we are here - a great effort from everybody.

"I guess the grid is what you would have expected, with the exception of the McLarens. I thought they would be a little bit faster. I'd expect the BARs and Renaults to be quick."

Barrichello looked set for pole after dominating the action in pre-qualifying, but he couldn't match Schumacher and now is forced to start from the dirty side of the grid.

"It was altogether a good lap, so it's a little bit disappointing not to get pole," the Brazilian said. "This morning I did a really good lap. Everything ran smoothly for us, but I think he did a fantastic job to do a perfect lap. I missed out a little bit towards the end of the lap but even so I am happy.

"It is one of the worst P2s of the year because it is very dirty on that side of the track, but I have to be very optimistic ahead of the race."

The duo were half a second clear of the BAR pairing of Takuma Sato and Jenson Button. It is the fifth time that Sato has out-qualified his team-mate this year despite running wide at Turn 11.

"It was the fastest part of the circuit and I dropped the wheel [onto the grass] a little bit" Sato explained. "I lost a few tenths, but it didn't cost me a lot. I wouldn't have been on the front row anyway. I'm very happy to be on the second row."

The Japanese driver obviously took advantage of the fact that Button's mind may not have been 100 per cent on the job, but it was a close call with just seven thousandths of a second separating the two.

Fernando Alonso, on pole at the circuit last year, could only manage fifth spot, a surprise in the Renault camp for the R24 is practically purpose-built for the Budapest circuit. Team-mate Jarno Trulli is four places down in ninth having been the unfortunate victim of a short shower. The Italian was lucky not to have lost more time, as it was he lost just over a second to Schumacher.

Antonio Pizzonia may not be sat in the Williams next year now, but it didn't stop the Brazilian putting his all into his flying lap. He had some demons to rid following his performance in Germany and rid them he did by setting the sixth quickest time and out-qualifying team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya (seventh) by just over a tenth of a second.

It was a mixed day for Sauber with Giancarlo Fisichella putting in a great lap to make the top eight while team-mate Felipe Massa didn't bother to set a time after suffering an engine failure in free practice earlier Saturday. The Brazilian was forced to change his engine and decided instead to save his tyres keeping them fresh for some overtaking antics that will be necessary starting as he will from the back of the grid.

McLaren, while looking promising at the start of the weekend, had a dismal qualifying session with Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard 10th and 12th respectively. The team thought the weekend would be much hotter, as has been the custom in the last few years, it opted therefore for the harder tyres and struggled as a result.

"We're in a spot of bother this weekend," Coulthard explained. "We've definitely been too conservative. Michelin reported some internal blistering, but I should have been stronger to direct the team. If you qualify badly then there's not much you can do here."

Sandwiched between the two Silver Arrows was Jaguar's Mark Webber who was the early pacesetter before the big boys came out. Team-mate Christian Klien was over four tenths slower than Webber in 14th behind the Toyota of Oliver Panis (13th). The Frenchman's team-mate, Ricardo Zonta, who has replaced Cristiano da Matta for the rest of the season, put in a solid performance on this his first taste of the new qualifying system. The Brazilian was less than a tenth of a second off the pace of Panis in 15th spot.

No change at the back of the grid with the two Jordan's led by Nick Heidfeld in 16th and 17th ahead of the Minardi duo, this time local boy Zsolt Baumgartner rose to the occasion of driving at home to out-qualify team-mate Gianmaria Bruni. Massa takes the final slot on the grid.

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Schumacher Leads All-Ferrari Front Row in Hungary

Schumacher Leads All-Ferrari Front Row in Hungary
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