Schumacher Looking Forward to Racing Montoya

World Champion Michael Schumacher said he is looking forward to starting beside Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya at tomorrow's French Grand Prix.

Schumacher Looking Forward to Racing Montoya

World Champion Michael Schumacher said he is looking forward to starting beside Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya at tomorrow's French Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver qualified in third position, right behind his Williams rival, in today's final qualifying session at Magny-Cours. At last Sunday's European Grand Prix Schumacher spun into the gravel after Montoya pulled a daring passing move.

"After what happened at the Nurburgring, starting next to Juan Pablo is fine. We have been very close very often and that is part of racing and I am looking forward to it," he said.

Schumacher, however, was disappointed with Ferrari's performance after finishing nearly half a second behind his brother Ralf, who took pole.

"We are not quite where I expected to be, as we thought this circuit would suit our car better," said Schumacher. "I don't think we have a problem in any particular area as it is more a case of the opposition getting stronger.

"It's true I am quickest in the first sector which could give an overtaking advantage, but I would trade that for pole if I could. At least third place means I am on the clean side of the track, which could be helpful tomorrow afternoon."

Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello finished in a disappointing eighth position more than a second off the pace.

"I am very disappointed," said Barrichello. "On my quick lap, the car was handling differently to the way it had done in the warm-up, picking up a lot of understeer. All day, I had been quickest in the first sector, but in qualifying no less than four drivers were quicker than me.

"Now I have to hope for a good result in the race, but it will be hard. So far we have had a very reliable car and we will be counting on that."

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