Schumacher expects tough race

Michael Schumacher claims he is not expecting to have an easy Monaco Grand Prix - despite qualifying four places ahead of title rival Mika Hakkinen

Schumacher expects tough race

"It would be dreaming to think I will still have a couple of guys between me and my rivals for the entire race," said Schumacher, after securing the 25th pole position of his career.

"The reality is that I face a very tough day tomorrow," he admitted during the pole winner's press conference.

"You could say this is the perfect start with Jarno next to me and Mika fifth," said Schumacher, who has won this race four times in six years.

"It's a good starting base for the race even though I still face a tough and long race."

The World Championship leader claimed his car was not as good as it could have been - and even suggested that a better time was possible.

In fact, he was only the thousandth part of a second ahead of Jarno Trulli's Jordan.

"I just need to make sure I get a good start and lets see what happens after that," he acknowledged. "I had some good luck in the session and I could have done a tenth or two better.

"I have a little understeer, but I hope it won't be a problem in the race."

The German, who has an 18-point lead in the championship over Hakkinen, slid perilously close to the barriers on two occasions.

"I thought they needed to be repainted, so I almost tapped them a couple of times!" he joked.

If Schumacher wins he will match Graham Hill's tally of five Monte Carlo victories - one less than the record held by Ayrton Senna.

For full qualifying results, click here

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