Schumacher takes pole on home soil - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Schumacher takes pole on home soil

By Will Gray 30/05/2004 06:13:15 AM Comments (0)

German world champion Michael Schumacher claimed his fifth pole position of the season on home ground here Saturday when he finished fastest in qualifying for the European Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver, who was finally defeated in Monaco last weekend after dominating the opening five races, had failed to top any of the sessions here but pulled out his best form to claim pole.

"To have only a couple of days to wait to get back to racing is good," said Schumacher. "I have forgotten about what happened in Monaco anyway. It is always something special here, you get extra motivation from the fans in the grandstands and I hope we can win here."

Schumacher's lap of 1min 28.351sec put him 0.635 seconds clear of BAR-Honda driver Takuma Sato, who claimed the best ever qualifying position for a Japanese driver after running last in the session having topped the first qualifying.

Sato said: "Luckily the track conditions stayed similar between qualifying sessions and I am very delighted to be here.

"After qualifying third in Barcelona I wanted to be on the front row. We are quite up the grid this year and I am looking forward to fighting tomorrow. I am delighted today.

"The team have done a fantastic job and today we achieved what we wanted and I'm looking forward to going side by side with the competitors."

Italian Jarno Trulli, who won the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position last weekend and is still the only man to beat Schumacher this year, finished third, 0.784 secs behind the German.

He has lost his voice this weekend but managed to say: "It is so difficult to explain how happy I am. I would just like to say that I'm very happy with third."

Finn Kimi Raikkonen claimed fourth place for McLaren, here on the home ground of their German engine suppliers Mercedes, but his team-mate David Coulthard will start from the opposite end of the grid after failing to set a time.

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