Montoya On Pole Roll

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Juan Pablo Montoya won his fourth consecutive pole position and his fifth of the season after setting the quickest time in the final moments of qualifying July 6 for the British Grand Prix.

2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya averaged 145.574 mph (234.279 km/h) in his HP Williams-BMW to set a time of 1 minute, 18.998 seconds around the 17-turn, 3.194-mile (5.141 km) Silverstone circuit.

“We did a lot of changes with the car,” Montoya said. “We didn’t get much running with the car, so we were going backwards and forwards. Through
qualifying, we were basically balancing the car. Then right at the end, we seemed to get it. We did a few changes; we were doing three changes at a time. The balance was good, but to be honest, I don’t know where the time came from.”

Rubens Barrichello held on to the pole for much of the session but failed to improve his time on his fourth and final run, and that ensured that Montoya stayed out in front. Barrichello turned a time of 1:19.032 in his Ferrari, good for second.

“I had quite a busy session because on the second run my forward seat belt came undone, and I had to finish the lap, but it was pretty much on the edge,” Barrichello said. “But then I eventually had a fantastic third run, which is my time, and then I chose to have a fourth run, when I had a little bit of traffic. I don’t know if I could have gone faster or not, but there was big traffic.”

Michael Schumacher’s last pole was April 28 in the Spanish Grand Prix. He’s qualified third four times and second once in the subsequent five races. He was third in Britain with a time of 1:19.042, just .010 of a second slower than
Barrichello’s time.

“I am reasonably confident for the race,” Schumacher said, “but it is hard to say what everyone’s race pace will be.”

Ralf Schumacher qualified his HP Williams-BMW fourth at 1:19.329.

“It’s not too bad to start a race from fourth position,” Ralf Schumacher said. “At the beginning of qualifying, everything was going quite well, but at the end it became more difficult, and I could not improve. It will be hard to challenge the Ferraris for the race.”

Kimi Raikkonen ended up fifth on the grid after setting a time of 1:20.133 in his West McLaren-Mercedes.

“During my second run, the car lost power so I went back to the pits and changed to the T-car,” Raikkonen said. “I could have done a quicker time in my race car.”

David Coulthard (West McLaren-Mercedes), Jarno Trulli (Mild Seven Renault), Mika Salo (Panasonic Toyota), Jacques Villeneuve (Lucky Strike British American Racing-Honda) and Nick Heidfeld (Red Bull Sauber-Petronas) rounded out the top
10 qualifiers.

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