Qualifying 1: Schumacher fights back

Michael Schumacher showed that Ferrari remains a force to be reckoned with in the first qualifying session for this weekend's British Grand Prix, setting the fastest time in his F2003-GA to head the Williams-BMW duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and brother Ralf

Qualifying 1: Schumacher fights back

The German was the first to take to the track, by virtue of his championship lead, and set an impressive benchmark time of 1m19.474s, which remained unchallenged for the rest of the session.

Rubens Barrichello looked to be the closest rival to his team-mate, but found trouble near the end of his flying lap. The Brazilian was just a few hundredths of a second off Schumacher's time, but lost control of his car heading into Brooklands. Barrichello did a great job to control the slide, but appeared to overcompensate, with his car running off into the gravel on the corner's exit.

This meant that Juan Pablo Montoya claimed the honour of best-of-the-rest behind Schumacher, 0.275s slower than the German. However, the Colombian was pleased to put himself in front of another Schumacher, his team-mate Ralf.

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest after another strong performance, ahead of the impressive Toyota of Olivier Panis and the second Renault of Jarno Trulli.

It was a tough session for McLaren, with this morning's pace-setter David Coulthard only able to set the seventh fastest time. Even more worrying for the team was the form of Kimi Raikkonen. Despite appearing to have a clean lap, the Finn could only muster the 12th best time.

Mark Webber (Jaguar) did another solid job to set the eighth fastest time, with Jenson Button (BAR) ninth, outpacing team-mate Jacques Villeneuve again despite a lurid slide heading into Club.

It was a difficult session for the two British rookies at their home race. Ralph Firman was 17th fastest and 0.835s slower than his team-mate, Giancarlo Fisichella. Justin Wilson had an even tougher time, as his Minardi coasted to a halt on his out lap. He joins Barrichello on the list of drivers without a time.

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Schumacher Fastest in First Qualifying - Britain

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