Sunday, July 31, 2005

Raikkonen win keeps title hopes alive 

After the trials and tribulations of his season so far, Kimi Raikkonen took a well-deserved victory at the Hungaroring on Sunday with a masterful drive from start to finish. Michael Schumacher drove his Ferrari F2005 to second place - taking the position when Juan Pablo Montoya was forced to retire with yet another of the mechanical problems that has plagued McLaren’s season.

Raikkonen’s victory will have been made sweeter by the fact that his principal rival in the championship, Fernando Alonso, scored no points after suffering a collision on the first lap and having to make an unscheduled pitstop for a new nose cone.

The race got off to an eventful start as the pack arrived at the first corner for the first time, with Christian Klien suffering from a spectucular accident and rolling out of the race after his front wheel made contact with Jacques Villeneuve’s. Further damage was caused to Alonso and Barrichellos’ cars - with the unfortunate David Coulthard suffering a spectacular accident after he collided at speed with Alonso’s detached nosecone. Michael Schumacher got off to a good start from his pole position, keeping the lead but followed closely by Montoya and the flying Raikkonen – who overtook Jarno Trulli in the run to the first corner.

As usual the Hungaroring’s lack of passing opportunities defined the race - although Raikkonen was able to get past Montoya during the opening lap of the race, thereafter most of the overtaking was done by relative pitstop strategies.

Raikkonen was the first to pit, demonstrating Schumacher’s impressive qualifying performance on what was proved to be a heavier fuel load. Montoya then inherited the lead when Schumacher stopped, with Raikkonen re-emerging in P1 when the Colombian made his first visit to the pitlane. At the next round of stops the situation was reversed, Schumacher stopping first and releasing Raikkonen to put in a single flying lap before his visit to the pits – an ultra-quick stop allowing him to overtake his German rival. Shortly afterwards Montoya’s car slowed as he retired from the lead – and Raikkonen was on his way to a victory that keeps his championship hopes alive.

Schumacher’s Ferrari was clearly struggling for pace during the closing stages of the race - with brother Ralf catching up with him in his Toyota and ending the race just 0.5 seconds behind. Jarno Trulli brought the second Toyota home in fourth place, Jenson Button ended up fifth, and a successfully implemented two-stop strategy brought the Williams of Heidfeld and Webber home in sixth and seventh respectively, in what will be a welcome return to competitiveness for the Grove-based team. Takuma Sato took the final championship point in his BAR.

It was a disappointing race for Renault, the team struggling slightly for pace throughout the weekend with Alonso’s early accident relegating him to what turned into an eventual 11th place finish. Giancarlo Fisichella suffered from a lowly P9 grid spot and struggled to make progress, ending the race in ninth.

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National Geographic The best photo collections 

Where: Bay Ridge, Maryland
When: 1992
Photographer: Robert W. Madden

With the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background fishers set crab lines in North America's largest estuary. Overharvesting and environmental damage have led to a decrease in adult crab populations in the bay.

(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Chesapeake Bay: Hanging in the Balance," June 1993, National Geographic magazine)

Where: Sumatra island, Indonesia
When: 1980
Photographer: David Alan Harvey

About 74,000 years ago, a volcano erupted and collapsed in on itself on Sumatra. The resulting crater later filled with water and became known as Lake Toba (pictured).
(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "A Sumatran Journey," March 1981, National Geographic magazine)

Where: Ghazni, Afghanistan
When: 1946
Photographer: Maynard Owen Williams

"Oxen and donkeys tread the bygone glories at Ghazni, seat of conquerors. To Ghazni, Afghanistan's great empire builder Mahmud carried back the plunder of India almost ten centuries ago. Ghazni's splendor died in 1152 when the Indian prince Ala-ud-Din gave it fire and sword. In 1839 the British stormed Ghazni and blew in this gate."

—From "Back to Afghanistan," October 1946, National Geographic magazine

Where: Washington, D.C.
When: Date Unknown
Photographer: Terry Eiler

Fireworks explode and are reflected in water by the Washington Monument. The first public Fourth of July party at the White House occurred in 1801.
(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, the National Geographic book The Revolutionary War: America's Fight For Freedom, 1967)

Where: Near Majalang, Java, Indonesia
When: 1982
Photographer: Dean Conger

Home to hundreds of Buddha statues, the 1,200-year-old Borobudur temple is the world's largest Buddhist monument.
(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Indonesia Rescues Ancient Borobudur," January 1983, National Geographic magazine)

Where: In the Crab Nebula
When: Date Unknown
Photographer: Palomar Observatory

"At the [Crab Nebula's] core lies a pulsar, a type of neutron star, discovered by radio astronomers in 1968. Only 12 miles [19 kilometers] across, it spins 30 times a second, spewing out high-energy particles. As particles flow out, they lose energy and emit radiation in longer wavelengths. Highlighted in false color, an optical image shows intermediate-energy particles from the pulsar (blue) along with material ejected into space by the supernova explosion itself (green and red)."
—From "Super X-ray Vision," December 2002, National Geographic magazine

Where: India
When: 2004
Photographer: William Albert Allard

"[Film star] Amitabh and a tattered Shah Rukh frame former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. Such posters lure India's star-obsessed populace into the movies' fantasy realm, where true love and justice always prevail."

—From "Welcome to Bollywood," February 2005, National Geographic magazine

Where: Loango National Park, Gabon, Africa
When: 2003
Photograper: Michael Nichols

"Within a modest radius of ten miles (16.09 kilometers), photographer Michael Nichols found a dramatic sampling of creatures that pass through the Loango area. Canoeing on the Echira River, he surprised an elephant swimming in the murky waters."

—From "Gabon's Loango National Park," August 2004, National Geographic magazine

Where: Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
When: 1969
Photographer: Winfield Parks

"A 1912 eruption [from Mount Martin at Katmai National Park and Preserve] spewed ash as far as Washington state, shredded clothes on lines a hundred miles (160 kilometers) away, but, amazingly killed no one. From a new vent, Novarupta, incandescent pumice flowed down the valley in a glowing avalanche. Woodland pickets, killed by hot mudflows, spike the pale plain."

—From the National Geographic book Alaska, 1969

Where: Near Turtle Island, Fiji
When: 1993
Photogrtapher: James L. Stanfield

"Fiji is a nation of islands. Many of them are low coral or limestone hideaways of palm trees, trade winds, and white sand."

(Text from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "The Two Worlds of Fiji," October 1995, National Geographic magazine)

Where: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
When: 1988
Photographer: James L. Stanfield

"'The legacy of the [French Revolution] is still very much alive,' said Jean-Noël Jeanneney, energetic director of the bustling Bicentennial Mission, headquartered near the Eiffel Tower. 'A nation is rich in its memory. And the roots of 20th-century France are in its founding myth. I'd like all the youth of this nation to know its story—so full of passion and surprise.'"

(Text from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "The Great Revolution," July, 1989 National Geographic magazine)

Where: Jerusalem, Israel
When: 1984
Photographer: James L. Stanfield

"With an average birthrate of six children per family, the ultra-Orthodox population in Jerusalem is surging. [In 1996] roughly 30 percent of the city's 420,000 Jews [were] ultra-Orthodox, as [were] 50 percent of the schoolchildren [such as the Ultra-Orthodox men and boys at this Hasidic temple].

"If trends continue, the ultra-Orthodox population will increase by 70 percent here by the year 2010 and will exert significant influence on the city's destiny."

(Text from "The Three Faces of Jerusalem," April 1996, National Geographic magazine)

Where: Tasmania, Australia
When: 1996
Photographer: Sam Abell

Despite the calm waters in front of this boat shed, the island of Tasmania is known for treacherous seas. Since the wreck of the Sydney Cove in 1797 there have been around a thousand ships lost in the area.

(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, the National Geographic book Australia: Journey Through a Timeless Land, 1999)

Where: Space
When: Date Unknown
Photographer: NASA/CXC/John P. Hughes, Rutgers University

"A star explodes. Debris and energy blast out and glow as brightly as billions of suns. A supernova remnant is born."

—From "Super X-ray Vision," December 2002, National Geographic magazine

Where: Montana
When: 1997
photographer: Robb Kendrick

"A fleet of hired combines cuts 80 bushels of wheat an acre from Walter Mehmke's Montana farm. 'When I was in high school, if we cut 30 bushels an acre, that was an excellent crop,' recalled Mehmke."

—From "Special Issue: Best of America," September 2002, National Geographic magazine

Where: Puget Sound, Washington
When: 1971
Photographer: Bates Littlehales

"The splendors of the depths are known to a fortunate few, like this biologist tagging a giant Pacific octopus in Washington's Puget Sound."
—From "Special Issue: Best of America", September 2002, National Geographic magazine

Where: United Kingdom
When: 1992
Photogragher: Sam Abell

Hot water bottles lie across a hedge. There are anywhere from a dozen to 50 or more types of hedges in Britain. Each type is as distinctive and as historic as the county in which it stands.

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Hedgerows," September 1992, National Geographic magazine)

Where: Wadi Ramm, Jordan
When: 1982
Photographer: Jodi Cobb

"Acrobats of the desert skies, the Royal Jordanian Falcons trail ribbons of smoke above desolate Wadi Ramm. Sponsored by Alia, the Royal Jordanian Airline, the Falcons fly their Pitts Special biplanes to entertain small desert villages as well as air-show crowds in Europe and North America."

—From "Jordan: Kingdom in the Middle," February 1984, National Geographic magazine

Where: Assateague Island, Virginia or Maryland
When: 1975
Photographer: James L. Stanfield

Two wild ponies stand at the edge of Assateague Island National Seashore. Each year thousands of people come here to watch wild horses swim to nearby Chincoteague Island, where many of them are auctioned off. Proceeds from the auctions support the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, the National Geographic book The Wild Ponies of Assateague Island, 1975)

Where: India
When: Circa 1920
Photographer: Maynard Owen Williams

"The caption on the back of this picture from our archives is short and old: 'India. Watering a man without breaking caste rules.' For an Untouchable, a member of the lowest Hindu social class, the rules are many, with prohibitions on everything from physical contact with higher castes to drinking from central village wells."

—From "From the Editor," June 2003, National Geographic magazine

Where: Ouray, Colorado, United States
When: Unknown
Photographer: Donald J. Crump

A male American bighorn sheep allows the presence of a younger male among his herd (pictured here). Order among males is established in horn-splintering clashes, in which the frequent winner gains leadership of the herd, and pick of the breeding females.

—Text adapted from "Last Stand for the Bighorn," September 1973, National Geographic magazine

Where: Phuket, Thailand
When: 1994
Photographer: Jodi Cobb

White sand beaches, clear blue water, and ideal temperatures have made Thailand's Phuket Island a tropical paradise for visitors. Phuket is Thailand's largest island, located in the Andaman Sea, and its idyllic conditions have made tourism one of the pillars of its economy. Ten years after this photograph was taken, Phuket Island suffered severe damage from a massive tsunami triggered by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean in December 2004. Thai officials have begun a years-long program to rebuild Phuket and lure back visitors.

(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "The Many Faces of Thailand," February 1996, National Geographic magazine)

Where: Nuevo Lajitas, Chihuahua state, Mexico
When: Date Unknown
Photographer: Bruce Dale

"As other family members relax along the Rio Grande on the Mexican border, a mother dips her reluctant infant into a makeshift bathtub."

—From the National Geographic book The American Southwest: Land of Challenge and Promise, 1998

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
When: 1996
Photographer: James A. Sugar

When gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel opened his landmark Flamingo hotel and casino in 1946 on the Las Vegas Strip, it helped usher in a seemingly endless jackpot for the city's tourism and casino trades. In 1996, the year this photo was taken, four mega-casinos made their debut on the Strip: the New York-New York, Monte Carlo, the Orleans, and the Stratosphere.

—Photograph from "Believing Las Vegas," December 1996, National Geographic magazine

Where: Simen Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
When: 2002
Photographer: Michael K. Nichols

"Theropithecus gelada, as a gelada is properly called, is the last species in a once great dynasty of grass-grazing primates....Only in the cool heights of the mountain meadows of north-central Ethiopia did a Theropithecus-friendly habitat survive. Today between 100,000 and 200,000 geladas remain in the country."

Where: Rodanthe, North Carolina
When: Date Unknown
Photographer: David Alan Harvey

Despite North Carolina's hurricane vulnerability, beachgoers are not dissuaded from living along the shore. The state has withstood many devastating hurricanes, including 1954s Hazel, which has been called the most destructive in the state's history.

Where: Ouray, Colorado
When: Date Unknown
Photographer: Donald J. Crump
Box Canyon was the site of 1800s mining claims and helped give rise to nearby Ouray, Colorado. Once a mining town, Ouray is today a resort center known as the "Switzerland of America."

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Liverpool's Baros agrees terms with Schalke 04 

BERLIN, July 30 (Reuters) - Schalke 04 have agreed personal terms with Liverpool's Czech striker Milan Baros, German sports news agency SID reported on Saturday. "We've agreed things with Baros and his agent," Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick told SID.

"He wants to come to us. We'll make a move towards (agreeing the transfer with) Liverpool at the start of next week."

Baros, 23, said earlier this month that he wanted to remain at Liverpool but manager Rafael Benitez has not played him in the first two qualifying rounds of the Champions League this season.

The European champions's asking price for the Czech Republic international has been a sticking point with the Bundesliga runners-up.

"We have time and don't need to acceed to Liverpool's demands straight away," Rangnick said.

SID said Baros, who is under contract at Liverpool until 2007, would cost Schalke nine million euros ($10.9 million).

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Schumacher storms to first Pole of the season! 

Hungarian GP - Qualifying

Michael Schumacher claimed his 64th career Pole Position, the first of the season, for Ferrari this afternoon in Hungary. The Ferrari star dominated the session, lapping just under nine-tenths of a second faster than anyone else. We knew Ferrari looked strong from the practice times, but the Pole Position is a tremendous result for the team after such a struggle in recent races.

Juan Pablo Montoya starts second his McLaren Mercedes after a solid performance. It remains to be seen how much fuel the Colombian’s MP4- 20 is carrying compared to Michael Schumacher’s F2005, but track position is everything at the twisty 4.381KM Hungaroring circuit.

Jarno Trulli did his usual superb job in qualifying for Toyota to qualify third while Kimi Raikkonen, first on track to qualify also did a superb job for McLaren as he starts fourth, a second off the pace of Schumacher, but less than two tenths slower than his team- mate Montoya.

Ralf Schumacher drove a hard aggressive lap, using all the kerbing through the tighter corners to qualify a solid fifth. He may not have out-qualified team-mate Trulli, but at least he was close to the Italian’s pace.

Fernando Alonso was the final runner on track in qualifying and therefore had the optimal track conditions. The Championship leader ran too deep into turn one and then at the end of the lap ran wide, used the grass on the exit and still managed to qualify his Renault in sixth position.

Rubens Barrichello starts in seventh position in the second Ferrari ahead of Jenson Button who had a low-key run to eighth position in his BAR Honda. Giancarlo Fisichella’s Renault did not look well balanced at all and the Italian managed just ninth on the grid ahead of the second BAR of Takuma Sato.

Christian Klien put in a very smooth lap in his Red Bull Cosworth to start 11th ahead of team-mate David Coulthard who starts two places back in 13th. Nick Heidfeld did a very good job in the BMW Williams to split the two RB1’s while team-mate mark Webber’s FW27 looked simply evil and he starts back in 16th well over a second off Heidfeld.

The Sauber Petronas duo of Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve start in 14th and 15th respectively in what has been a disappointing weekend so far for the Swiss-based team while Christijan Albers did a good job in his Minardi Cosworth to start 17th ahead of Narain Karthikeyan and Robert Doornbos in the Jordan and Minardi respectively. Following an engine change, Tiago Monteiro opted not to qualify and will start last.

The story of qualifying was Raikkonen’s ‘save’ after being the first driver on track to qualify while Michael Schumacher has sprung the surprise of day by taking Pole Position for Ferrari. Looking to race day, McLaren Mercedes look very strong, but first they have to pass Schumacher….

Qualifying times for the Hungarian Grand Prix

1. M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m19.882s
2. MONTOYA McLaren 1m20.779s
3. TRULLI Toyota 1m20.839s
4. RAIKKONEN McLaren 1m20.891s
5. R.SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m20.964s
6. ALONSO Renault 1m21.141s
7. BARRICHELLO Ferrari 1m21.158s
8. BUTTON BAR 1m21.302s
9. FISICHELLA Renault 1m21.333s
10. SATO BAR 1m21.787s
11. KLIEN Red Bull 1m21.937s
12. HEIDFELD Williams 1m22.086s
13. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m22.279s
14. MASSA Sauber 1m22.565s
15. VILLENEUVE Sauber 1m22.866s
16. WEBBER Williams 1m23.495s
17. ALBERS Minardi 1m24.443s
18. KARTHIKEYAN Jordan 1m25.057s
19. DOORNBOS Minardi 1m25.484s
20. MONTEIRO Jordan no time


Conditions - Air temp: 35C degrees/Track temp: 50C degrees.

Kimi Raikkonen - Kimi will have his work cut out qualifying anywhere near the front, as the track is expected to pick up a lot of time as it grips up over the course of the session. But he has set the pace in three of the four sessions so far today, so let's see what he can do. Impressive sector one - only 0.2s off his morning best. Lap looks fully committed but neat and tidy. Slight correction in the final corner but he blasts across the line in 1m20.891s - that should stand up well. A mega effort.

Mark Webber - Another ace qualifier who will suffer because of his slot in the running order here. Williams is still struggling to discover its early-season form and has brought new bodywork here again. The car still looks hard work, Webber is 1.6s down on Raikkonen at the second split. Locks his brakes at the penultimate corner, scratches out a 1m23.495s.

Robert Doornbos - The Jordan refugee has gone well for Minardi so far and is putting the pressure on team-mate Christijan Albers. Neat and tidy lap, looks more controlled than usual for a Minardi - but loses time by running wide at Turn 12. The result is a 1m25.484s.

Tiago Monteiro - The Portuguese driver had an engine change this morning, so the Jordan team elects to bring him back into the pits after his out lap and he doesn't set a time.

Narain Karthikeyan - Will the Indian driver fare any better than his team-mate? He's stabbing at the throttle in Turn Two, waiting for the grip to come in. Snap oversteer in Turn Eight and he's nearly three seconds adrift of Raikkonen at the second checkpoint. Fighting the wheel in the final corner, posts a 1m25.057 to slot in comfortably ahead of Doornbos.

First break

Jacques Villeneuve - The former world champion has been losing ground to team-mate Massa again of late, but let's see what he can do here. He's 1.4s down on Raikkonen at the second sector but a steady, tidy lap nets a 1m22.886s. That puts him P2 for the moment, and elicits some applause from the team.

Jarno Trulli - Qualifying specialist Trulli in the Toyota is the first man who's likely to challenge Kimi's time. A fuel pressure problem lost him track time this morning, however. He's just 0.04s shy of Raikkonen at the first split. The car seems to have a hint of understeer but the time is there - indeed, he pips Kimi with a 1m20.839s. We have a new provisional polesitter!

Christijan Albers - The Dutchman has been driving superbly in recent weeks and showed up the Jordans at Hockenheim. Has to correct the car in Turn Two and looks edgy in the fast Turn Four - he's really trying hard. Scrabbling for traction but extracts an impressive 1m24.443s, more than a second quicker than Doornbos and 0.6s ahead of Karthikeyan. Super lap.

Takuma Sato - Taku's been almost invisible this year and needs to step things up in the next few races. He's started well - 0.02s up on Trulli after the first sector. But the time ebbs away in the middle sector and he's now 0.475s adrift. Final time is a 1m21.787s - P3 at the moment, but a long way behind the top two.

Nick Heidfeld - Has been matching or eclipsing team-mate Webber in the races but still tends to play second fiddle in qualifying. Can he buck that trend with the advantage of a better running slot this time? Yes he can - his 1m22.086s is 1.4s quicker than Webber. Fuel maybe?

Second break

Rubens Barrichello - It will be interesting to see what Ferrari can do here, as the Italian team looked good this morning. Will the scorching conditions suit the Bridgestone tyres? Rubens gets a bit out of shape in Turn Two but he's neck-and-neck with Trulli after the first sector. The car looks lively but 1m21.158s is not a bad time - puts him P3 for the time being.

Christian Klien - Has outpaced his Red Bull team-mate David Coulthard so far this weekend and needs to show well to stake his claim for the drive post-Hungary. The car looks a little nervous under braking at Turn One but he's only 0.7s off pole after the first two sectors. Posts a respectable 1m21.937s.

Felipe Massa - Sauber man has been driving consistently well all year. Expect him to outqualify JV unless he's carrying a fat fuel load. Committed, controlled lap yields a 1m22.565s - 0.3s ahead of Villeneuve but won't trouble the front-runners.

David Coulthard - Can he show team-mate Klien who's boss? Not a great start as he locks up at Turn One, but even so he's still a whisker ahead of Klien after the first sector. But he loses time in the middle segment and comes up 0.3s short with a 1m22.279s.

Ralf Schumacher - An ideal opportunity for Ralf to outshine his Toyota team-mate Trulli at a track where he always goes well. He's trying hard and has a lurid slide coming out of the slow chicane. Ends up P3 on a 1m20.964s - good effort but still just shy of Trulli.

Third break

Michael Schumacher - Michael was quick this morning and it's probably the world champion's best chance of qualifying up front since the North American races. Sure enough, he's 0.179s up on Trulli at the first split; make that 0.8s after the middle sector - wow! He trips the timing beam in 1m19.882s - a stunning time, easily the best of the weekend so far. Even if he's on a three-stop strategy, that's a mighty effort.

Giancarlo Fisichella - Let's see what Giancarlo can do now he's got a decent qualifying slot. The Renaults haven't been dialled in as well as we might have expected this weekend, but they often rise to the occasion in qualifying. But Fisi is 0.9s down on Schuey at the second checkpoint - that's an age. The deficit is nearly 1.5s at the end of the lap as Fisi logs a 1m21.333s. That's P6 at the moment - not what he was looking for.

Jenson Button - The Brit has being at the centre of a maelstrom of speculation surrounding his future this weekend, but he will have to put all that out of his mind now. He's a couple of tenths adrift of Schuey after S1, and 0.855s after S2. It's smooth and undramatic, as ever, but he seems to be lacking ultimate pace. Squeaks ahead of Fisi with a 1m21.302s.

Juan Pablo Montoya - Now, can Montoya take advantage of Kimi's handicap and snatch pole? He'll have his work cut out beating Schuey's sub-1m20s effort. Looking good so far, only 0.08s behind at the first intermediate. But he can't match Schuey's stunning middle sector and now trails the German by 0.570s. A mistake-free lap yields a 1m20.779s, solid but eons away from the Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso - The handling of the Renault hasn't been au point this weekend, but can the championship leader pull a rabbit out of the hat? Runs a bit wide at Turn One and is 0.143s down after S1. Matches JPM in S2 and is gunning for a front-row slot. But runs wide onto the dirt on the exit of the final corner and loses precious tenths - a 1m21.141s put him only sixth, two places behind title protagonist Kimi. That's a big disappointment for the Spaniard...

Qualifying - selected driver quotes

Just when Ferrari’s 2005 season was being written off, Michael Schumacher showed just why he is world champion, putting in an amazing lap to give the team their first pole of the year. He and the other 19 drivers give their reactions to qualifying at the Nurburgring.

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (1st, 1m 19.882s):
“I drove a good lap and I am delighted to be back here after suffering for so long. I am happy to be on pole, happy that it is with this margin and also that we look in good shape for the race. This is good for Bridgestone, who have suffered with us and this result is an excellent return for the effort they have put in. We saw from Rubens’ performance yesterday that, not only was the package quick over a single lap, it was also consistent over a longer run. There is no reason not to believe in a Ferrari comeback, but at the same time we will have to wait and see if this result is a case of the car and tyre suiting this track or if it will become a general trend. This is a great result and a great motivation for the whole team. As for being on pole, I think it is more important that I am on the clean side of the track, because I do not share the view that at this circuit, grid position is vital, because I think strategy in the race will be more important.. I am not worried about the hot conditions.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (2nd, +0.897s):
"It's good to be on the front row as my lap was not perfect. I had a bit of oversteer on the first corner and I already knew after the first couple of corners that I wouldn't catch Michael Schumacher. So for the rest of the lap I was a bit cautious and concentrated on a good clean lap and getting on the front row. I am not worried about being on the dirtier side of the track as we have shown that our starts are really good this year. I am confident that I am in a very good position for the race if everything goes to plan."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (3rd, +0.957s):
"That was a very good lap, so I'm happy. We always knew this was going to be a tough session because I was going out so early after our problems in Hockenheim. I also had a fuel system problem this morning so I didn't get a chance to try out the car on new tyres. That meant it was a bit of a guess for the balance on new tyres, but our car always goes well over one lap and I tried my best. I gradually built up my confidence as I went round, which was why the third sector was the best. Looking to the race, it's always a tough afternoon here but we'll try to keep up our pace."

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (4th, +1.009s):
"Going out first in the session was making things obviously harder for me today. The track conditions constantly improved during the session, and I suffered as the level of grip was not at its best, and it was really slippery. However, I feel that I pushed as hard as I could to make up any deficit. I am happy with my lap and under the circumstances I feel that we have done the best job that we could expect. It is now very important for me to get a good start."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (5th, +1.082s):
"All in all that was a pretty good lap for me. It was difficult to get the optimum out of the car because I had a bit of oversteer, but it was reasonably clean. And being fifth on the grid sets us up well for tomorrow, particularly because we will start on the clean side of the grid. We think we've got a good strategy so we'll have to see how it works out. We're certainly aiming for another good result. Since they changed the layout at the first corner there are more chances for passing here. The race will be long in the heat so it's a matter of making no mistakes and hoping for the best."

Fernando Alonso, Renault (6th, +1.259s):
“It is frustrating to be P6 and P9, but we have not quite been competitive all weekend. We didn’t manage to dial the understeer out of the car for qualifying, so the balance was not perfect, and I had a few moments round the lap. The one that really cost me time was in the last corner, where I got a bit off line and the car began understeering – I ended up in the grass on the exit and that definitely cost me positions. It is particularly disappointing to qualify badly here because overtaking is very hard – the only opportunities will be at the pit-stops and the start. We will be concentrating on those areas tonight so that we can make the most of our situation tomorrow.”

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (7th, +1.276s):
“Basically I think I drove a good lap apart from the fact that I lost a bit on the brakes at the beginning of the lap due to a change in set-up on the car, which made the brakes feel a little bit different. Bridgestone has done a phenomenal job to provide us with a tyre that has allowed us to be competitive again in qualifying. I have a good strategy and I know I can expect to have a very consistent performance level in the race. So I really hope I can get a good result.”

Jenson Button, BAR (8th, +1.420s):
"Eighth on the grid is not a great position to be starting from but hopefully we have a good strategy compared with the cars in front of me. I feel that I was unable to get much more out of the car today because we had pretty low grip. It also looks like we will have some different competition to fight with tomorrow. I’m sure we can achieve our target of some good points from here though so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully the temperature will have cooled by a few degrees as well.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (9th, +1.451s):
“I had a clean lap, but I think I was too conservative in the final sector – and it clearly cost me time. Ninth is not a great position, but in reality we have been struggling a bit to get the car working well at this circuit. Looking to tomorrow, I think we have a good strategy, so hopefully we can use that to overtake people at the stops – and we had very good starts in Hockenheim, which should help us gain some positions too.”

Takuma Sato, BAR (10th, +1.905s):
“It was a better day for me today. In the morning we worked on the set-up which we could not do yesterday due to lost running time. We caught up nicely and I was happy with the balance of the car. In qualifying I felt that I had less grip and a bit of oversteer in the middle sector cost me a little time. In the end it was a reasonable lap and we now look forward to see what we can do from this position and hope that we have a strong package for tomorrow.”

Christian Klien, Red Bull (11th, +2.055s):
“Not a bad qualifying time for me, I think. The balance of the car felt much better in qualifying than it did this morning, so I was able to push quite hard. It was a pretty clean lap with no mistakes so I’m happy. It’s also good to have gone faster than my team-mate David.”

Nick Heidfeld, Williams (12th, +2.204s):
“I am happy with my lap. At the beginning, the balance was particularly good although later in the lap I suffered a bit but all in all it was ok. I have always liked this track and I am confident I can have a good race tomorrow and collect some points. Our car has definitely improved thanks to all the new aero parts but the gap to the front runners has been so big in the last three races that it will take some time before it’s filled.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, +2.397s):
“I’m a little disappointed. I had a little bit of a wobble at Turn one and know I could have extracted more time in the middle section, but that’s what I achieved today. It’s now a question of looking ahead to the race. I didn’t give myself the best preparation for qualifying this morning as I went off the track on my new tyres, and that was effectively the only time I had to try them out before qualifying. I knew I was always going to give away a little time after that, but we’ll just have to see what we can do tomorrow.”

Felipe Massa, Sauber (14th, +2.683s):
"The balance on my car was reasonable, but it just wasn't quick enough. The lap was good enough for what we had this afternoon, but I couldn't go faster. It's going to be a difficult race starting this far back, but let's try to finish at least. You never know what can happen here; it's a very hot race and maybe not everyone will make it home."

Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (15th, +2.984s):
"The balance was pretty good, but that was as fast as the car would go with the strategy we chose. Actually, I expected to be slower than I was going so early in the session when the track was slippery, because Monaco and Hungary are both places where it gets much better as things progress. Being only three tenths of a second off Felipe - I'm quite happy with that, especially as our race pace is going to be better than our qualifying speed."

Mark Webber, Williams (16th, +3.613s):
“Going out for qualifying second, especially on this track, is obviously a great drawback, although I must admit track conditions were not as bad as I expected. My first two sectors weren’t too bad but I lost a bit of time in the last sector. The car has improved, I can feel that, but we are still not where we want to be.”

Christijan Albers, Minardi (17th, +4.561s):
"I'm glad today's qualifying went well, and now we'll wait to see how the performance of the car is in the race tomorrow. We had some bad luck at the beginning of the weekend and lost quite a bit of time in the garage on Friday, but hopefully, we can get it together for the race so the car remains well balanced."

Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (18th, +5.175s):
“My qualifying lap was quite clean but the air and track temperatures were very high, so it will be interesting to see what will happen during the Grand Prix. I also think the track was a bit slower compared to this morning. However, I do think we have a good strategy for tomorrow and I am pretty confident about our Bridgestone tyre choice as well.”

Robert Doornbos, Minardi (19th, +5.602s):
"We did some good work this morning and I think found a good race set-up for the car. We had to make a slight compromise for qualifying, and I had a bit of a moment in Turn One with the brakes and ran wide. I tried to recover the rest of the lap, but then had another moment in the third sector. I therefore couldn't get the optimum lap time, as I would have liked, but for the race, on used tyres, the car is very good, so we are definitely feeling optimistic for tomorrow."

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (20th, no time):
“We had some engine issues this morning in free practice. Therefore, we took the decision not to take any unnecessary risks for tomorrow’s race and change the engine. We had to adapt our strategy and this explains why I only did an installation lap in order to make sure everything is fine and also to save fuel and tyres. It is a bit frustrating but this is part of the game. However, it is going to be a long race in very hot conditions, so anything could happen.”

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