Coulthard Edges Schumacher

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David Coulthard grabbed his second pole position of the season today in the streets of Monaco with a lap time of 1:17.430. His best previous starting position in Monte Carlo was second in 1998.

Michael Schumacher, who had the provisional pole until Coulthard stole it from him in the last minutes of the qualifying session, will start along side the Scot.

“I would rather be on pole than in second position,” he admitted, “but David did a better job than I did today.”

Mika Hakkinen will start third, on the second row for the fourth time this season.

“We made a small change in the car and I am not 100 percent sure it was the right thing to do,” he said. Hakkinen wasn’t able to improve his time on his last run and will start on the grid right behind his teammate, and next to Rubens Barrichello who will start fourth.

Both BMW Williams drivers also had a good qualifying session. Ralf Schumacher, 5th on the grid, was quite happy with his drive.

“This is a pleasant qualifying result for me given that we always have had quite a difficult time on such twisty circuits,” Schumacher remarked. “I think a place on the second row could have been possible but on my last lap I was held up by Jenson Button, who was being held up himself. The good thing is fifth means I am going to start on the clean side of the track.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, who nudged the railing during one run, was also satisfied with his result.

“It wasn't such a bad qualifying after all, as I thought it was going to be a lot worse,” Montoya, who will start from the 7th spot, said.

The two Sauber drivers have had their worst qualifying session this season, with a 15th place for Kimi Raikkonen and a 16th for Nick Heidfeld.

“I had a lot of traffic this afternoon, and a yellow flag on my last run, but even without all that and with all my best sector times added together, I don't think I would have gone a lot quicker. A difficult day for me,” Raikkonen said.

Since 1994, only four different drivers have won at Monaco. Michael Schumacher has dominated the circuit with four wins (1994, 1995, 1997 and 1999) while Olivier Panis, who qualified 12th for tomorrow’s race, won in 1996. Hakkinen won in 1998 and Coulthard in 2000.

The Monaco Grand Prix is set to start Sunday, May 27th at 8:00 am ET.

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