Schumacher hoping for a clean getaway

Michael Schumacher has his sights set on a rocket start for the Hungarian Grand Prix to get his world championship challenge back on the rails.

Schumacher hoping for a clean getaway

Having failed to finish four of the last five races - and crashing out of the last two on the first bend - he faces another first corner confrontation with arch rival David Coulthard, who starts alongside him.

"There is two ways to avoid an accident at the first corner - either start last or disappear into the distance from first position. I will opt for the second one," said Schumacher.

"We have improved our starts in the last week but there is always a bit of luck involved.

"We have got a lot of horsepower, a small clutch and a lot of things can go wrong. There is a fine edge you have to walk to get everything right."

The double champion matched Juan Manuel Fangio's career total as he qualified on pole for the 28th time in his career and the first time in three races. In doing so he foiled Mika Hakkinen's bid to notch up a record third successive pole start at the Hungaroring.

"I am delighted that I am on pole," said the German. "It is a good basis for a good race.

"Qualifying is one thing, but what happens tomorrow is more important.

"I really have got to finish this race and if I can do that I will have a good opportunity to win it."

Schumacher goes in search of his third Hungaroring win in six years. Under pressure to stave off the developing championship challenge of the McLaren duo, Schumacher set the best time with his very first run in the baking 30 degree heat.

The lap was never bettered but title rival David Coulthard came within three-tenths as he took the other place at the front.

Eddie Irvine has warned that the double champion needs to win this race because McLaren are favourites for the two power circuits at Spa and Monza that follow. With one finish in the last five races Schumacher has a slim two-point lead over Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen with Rubens Barrichello fourth another eight points behind.

For a full list of qualifying results, click here.

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Saturday Second Free Practice - Hungarian GP

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