Schumacher back in title fight

Michael Schumacher said his title challenge is back on track after putting his Ferrari on pole position for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix

Schumacher back in title fight

The Tifosi were ecstatic as Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello made it an all-Ferrari front row for the first time in 2000.

This is the 29th pole of Schumacher's career and leaves him well placed to erode Mika Hakkinen's six point lead in the championship. The Finn had no answer to the pace of the Ferrari's and had to be content with holding off BAR's Jacques Villeneuve for third.

"I'm pleased because it means we are back on the road," said Schumacher, a reference to the fact that McLaren has had a definite pace advantage over Ferrari in recent races.

The German also claimed to be pleased by the speed of his team-mate. Barrichello was Schumacher's only challenger in the battle for pole and ended up just 0.027s adrift after a tense battle.

"If Rubens and I are both up there it is good news. It means the car is competitive," he said. "As for the championship, if we are both up front Rubens can give me good support. Or let's see if he supports me or I support him in the race..."

Schumacher spent the last ten minutes of the session waiting nervously in the garage. He had missed the Rettifilio chicane on his first flying lap and backed off to avoid a penalty. Rather than pitting at once, he continued to attempt another flying lap, putting him out of sequence with his rivals and meaning that he had used up his allocation of qualifying lap with ten minutes of the session still remaining.

"It was not pleasant to have to sit there and hope nothing would change. I would rather have been out there fighting," he admitted.

"I messed up my first lap when I went wide at the first chicane, so I had to do an extra lap which we hadn't planned for. That either meant
carrying on and doing another lap or waiting until the end.

"I knew I was little bit faster and decided to go for it because you never know what is going to happen at the end of the session.

"We didn't do our best but it was good enough and that's what counts."

For full qualifying results, click here.

shares
comments
Wurz: 'I'm more upset than I've ever been'

Previous article

Wurz: 'I'm more upset than I've ever been'

Next article

Misfire hampers Hakkinen

Misfire hampers Hakkinen
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021