Schumacher misses home pole chance

Michael Schumacher missed out on pole at this 'home' Grand Prix but was still smiling after out-qualifying chief championship rival Mika Hakkinen.

Schumacher misses home pole chance

The double champion starts outside the front row for his home race with David Coulthard in the other McLaren on pole and the world champion a place behind them.

'It's always good news to be on the front row. I'm happy with that. It's okay,' said Schumacher. 'I could have gone faster but that is the same for everyone.

'I made a mistake on turn five, ran wide and locked up the brakes but everyone had problems in the conditions so I am quite happy being where I am.'

However, his cheerful mood in the post qualifying press conference was in contrast to reports from the Ferrari garage by live TV crews during the session, who suggested that the German was in reality extremely frustrated not to get the opportunity to demonstrate what he feels is Ferrari's true performance advantage at this track.

Technical director Ross Brawn appeared to share that frustration.

'It was annoying that the rain came halfway through the session,' he said. 'Although Michael's front row position gives him a good chance at the start of the race, we think he could have been on pole if the track had remained dry until the end.'

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