Schumacher hopes to beat pole jinx

Michael Schumacher starts the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position hoping unlucky 13 is his lucky number as he faces up to the long-running pole jinx - the Canadian Grand Prix will be the 13th race since the polesitter actually won, a record stretching to last September's Hungarian GP

Schumacher hopes to beat pole jinx

The world championship leader stole pole from David Coulthard on his 12th and last lap in the final few seconds of qualifying.

David Coulthard had twice taken the initiative from team-mate Mika Hakkinen and on each of his first two runs the world championship leader slotted himself between the two McLarens.

But on his third run he pipped the Scot by a fifth of a second to hit the front.

Then there was one final flurry in the final seconds when Coulthard again hit the front only for Schumacher to go 0.098s quicker to start from the very front for the third time in four races and the 26th time in his career.

But no-one has won from pole since the Hungarian Grand Prix last August.

"You cannot prevent yourself thinking about it [the pole jinx] but in the race as you go to the start you don't care. You are concentrating what you do and hope it will not be a factor," he said.

"Let's hope 13 is my lucky number because 12 was not.

"It was an exciting session, especially in the last few minutes.

"I set the fastest time and was on the next run and knew David went faster but I didn't know how much.

"At turn four they came on the radio and said 'keep pushing' which wasn't the ideal time because I was in the middle of the bend. But I kept pushing and I got pole."

He punched the air in delight at getting pole and at the fact that teammate Rubens Barrichello demoted arch-rival Mika Hakkinen to fourth.

"It was nice to hear that Rubens was third, that's important for the race in keeping Mika further down the field."

Schumacher had more praise for Coulthard.

"Obviously David is getting stronger and stronger so I'm going to have to worry about him as well as Mika.

"I worry about Mika because he won the last two championships but with David giving him a big challenge maybe it is turning around and I will have to watch him too."

Schumacher, who has won this race three times before, leads the championship by 12 points from Coulthard second and 17 ahead of Hakkinen third.

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