Qualifying: Barrichello goes like the wind

Qualifying for the British Grand Prix turned tables on the quicker men from Friday's session. Rubens Barrichello, who failed to complete his hot lap yesterday, went out and posted the fastest time for Ferrari before a gusting wind hit the exposed ex-airfield.

Qualifying: Barrichello goes like the wind

Jarno Trulli was second quickest, just slipping under the oncoming weather, with Kimi Raikkonen also benefiting from an early starting slot in third.

"I think had the best of the session," said Barrichello. "It's a little more pressure starting early on - you have to push but you can't be sure how much. But we've brought a lot of new parts here and my car is working well, very fast, although Michael has had some problems. The Bridgestone tyres are good and I would say we are in a much better condition than at Magny-Cours."

Britain's Justin Wilson was the first man out, after experiencing ignition switch problems in his Minardi on Friday, then Barrichello who was smooth and extremely accurate on this high-speed, high-downforce Silverstone circuit. Given the race fuel levels the cars are carrying this year, his 1m21.209s lap compared favourably with Juan Pablo Montoya's 2002 pole time of 1m18.998s.

Giancarlo Fisichella reduced Jordan's deficit to the front-runners, in comparison with qualifying for the French GP, and finished 0.8s quicker and two places ahead of his team-mate, Ralf Firman, in 15th.

The English rookie driver was clearly struggling at the wheel of his Jordan. "We went from understeer to oversteer between warm-up and qualifying," said Firman, "which is disappointing for this afternoon, but it should be better for the race tomorrow."

David Coulthard lost copious amounts of time in the last two sectors, going from 0.3s down in Sector One to a hugely disappointing 1.6s off the pace of Barrichello by the end of the lap. The Scot will start the race from 12th place.

"I went wide in Stowe and locked up in Club," said DC. "The car wasn't good during warm-up and we made quite a few changes, but then I had lots of understeer and I just wasn't hitting the apexes as I would have liked to."

But where DC struggled to put one over on his team-mate, not so Antonio Pizzonia who beat Mark Webber to tenth place, albeit by a slender 0.01s. The Jaguar Racing drivers will be disappointed not to have jumped ahead of BAR's Jacques Villeneuve, in ninth.

But the BARs seem to working well round Silverstone and the Jaguar boys can count themselves lucky that Jenson Button failed to complete his lap. The young Brit hit the beginning of a kerb early in the lap and broke a pushrod in his front suspension.

"I'm very disappointed," said Button. "To have this happen at my home grand prix, when I really would have liked to have had a good weekend. It hasn't been, so far, and tomorrow will be tough. But I'm sure we can salvage something, if it stays dry. Nick Heidfeld got to eighth from last at the Nurburgring, so we can too."

By the time the Williams duo of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher came to run, a heavy breeze had whipped up, and the changeable conditions hampered all three, ensuring Barrichello's pole.

The Schumacher brothers finished fourth and fifth, with Ralf leading his elder sibling after Michael stepped onto the grass and lost 0.5s. A smooth performance from Toyota star Cristiano da Matta was rewarded with sixth, while Juan Pablo Montoya sawed away at the wheel of his Williams on his way to seventh, saving his skin twice with lightning quick dollops of opposite lock. The Colombian finished 1.0s off the pole time.

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Barrichello Takes Pole Position at the British GP
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