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Schumacher stuns with pole in Hungary 30 Jul 2005

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari takes pole.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Hungaroring, Hungary, 30 July 2005

How many laps will Michael Schumacher run before his first fuel stop tomorrow? That’s the question every other team was asking themselves after the world champion planted his Ferrari on pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

He was the only driver to dip below 1m 20s all weekend, and came closest to his 2004 pole position time of 1m 19.146s with a best of 1m 19.882s. Prior to that Jarno Trulli had been the fastest man on the track after wheeling his Toyota round in 1m 20.839s to displace the first man out, Kimi Raikkonen. Despite running at the worst point of the session, as far as track conditions were concerned, the Finn lapped in 1m 20.819s and that would hold up for fourth best.

When Juan Pablo Montoya took his turn, as the penultimate runner, his lap of 1m 20.779s, while good enough for the second front row slot, highlighted what is perceived to be Ferrari’s bold gamble in running lighter than anyone else.

Fernando Alonso was the only other runner who might have done something about Schumacher Snr, but his lap of 1m 21.141s included a wheel in the gravel exiting the last corner and suggested that Renault, too, was running a similar strategy to McLaren rather than emulating Ferrari.

Ralf Schumacher will start alongside the Spaniard after a lap of 1m 20.964s left his Toyota fifth, while Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button share the fourth row with 1m 21.158s and 1m 21.302s respectively.

Giancarlo Fisichella’s 1m 21.333s left him ninth, just ahead of Takuma Sato on 1m 21.787s. Christian Klien was the final man below 1m 20s after lapping in 1m 21.937s. Team mate David Coulthard was 13th on 1m 22.279s as Nick Heidfeld slipped his Williams between them with 1m 22.086s.

Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve struggled to squeeze any more speed out of their Saubers and ended up 14th and 15th, on 1m 22.565s and 1m 22.866s respectively, while Mark Webber, the second man out, took his Williams round in 1m 23.395s.

Christijan Albers was again the Minardi pacesetter with 1m 24.443s, which put him ahead of Narain Karthikeyan (1m 25.057s), Robert Doornbos (1m 25.484s) and Tiago Monteiro, who only did an installation lap after a Toyota engine change.

So, that’s the grid. But thanks to Schumacher what happens come the race is anyone’s guess.