Qualifying: Stunning Rubens takes pole

Rubens Barrichello pulled a stunning qualifying lap out of the bag to take pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher pushed for all his worth to try and beat his team-mate but fell just five hundredths short of the Brazilian's record lap. Ralf Schumacher gave the Ferraris something to think about with a time much closer than anything Williams had shown prior to qualifying, but as in Hockenheim Juan Pablo Montoya was well off the German's pace in fourth

Qualifying: Stunning Rubens takes pole

The Brazilian's first crack was ruined when Jenson Button spun the Renault in front of him at Turn 11 after Rubens had set the fastest first sector time, but it didn't take him long to put it all together. On his next lap, Barrichello blitzed the opposition with a 1m13.346s lap - 0.71sec quicker than last year's pole.

Michael Schumacher's attempts to oust his team-mate came to nothing. A scrappy first sector meant his first attempt to reply came out at just 1m13.417s, while his final shot looked good, but was just shy of the mark on 1m13.392s. Barrichello's last run was marginally quicker still to put the pole beyond doubt.

Ralf Schumacher was the first to come close to Barrichello's time with a 1m13.746s run in the Williams-BMW, but that proved a one-off for the team as Ralf and Juan Pablo Montoya both struggled to find a balance. Ralf couldn't improve and dropped to third before the end of the session. He did out-qualify Montoya though for the second time on the trot, as the Colombian's previous run of five straight poles fades. He was still fourth fastest, albeit almost a second slower than his team-mate.

Giancarlo Fisichella was the best of the rest with a terrific lap in the Jordan-Honda, which even came close to bumping Montoya off the second row. Takuma Sato was down in 14th place in the second Jordan.

Jarno Trulli produced an excellent lap late in the session to take sixth place on the grid for Renault. By contrast Jenson Button's early lap put him as high as fourth, but he couldn't improve on it and he was bumped down the pack to ninth by the end. He was still the best of five Britons in the field, though the last man on the grid could well be the happiest of those. Anthony Davidson did a great job to put the Minardi firmly onto the grid, well inside the 107 percent barrier.

The grand prix debutant had joked before the session about asking Michael Schumacher to hold back a bit and make the 107 percent mark easier to achieve, saying: "I wish I could have a word with him and just say, 'let me in for my first race man.'" As it was, Davidson's second flying lap did the trick, well inside the qualifying standard and at the time just a tenth off team-mate Mark Webber. Webber subsequently improved where Davidson could not, but the Englishman was still less than half a second adrift - a very respectable showing.

The rest stuck close to their team-mates. The Saubers were evenly-matched in seventh and eighth places - Felipe Massa just quicker than Nick Heidfeld, while David Coulthard just pipped Kimi Raikkonen at McLaren, both struggling to find any real pace. Olivier Panis was ahead of hard-trying spinner Jacques Villeneuve at BAR, while Pedro de la Rosa was over half a second quicker than Eddie Irvine - the Jaguar drivers down in 15th and 16th places. Mika Salo was just ahead of Allan McNish in the Toyotas which were ahead only of the Minardis.


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Barrichello Leads Ferrari Front Row in Hungary

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