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Archive for Sunday, June 1, 2003

Younger Schumacher wins pole

Ralf, not Michael, secures top spot with fastest time ever on Monaco street circuit

June 1, 2003

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— Ralf Schumacher won the pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix Saturday with the fastest time ever on the famed street circuit.

Brother Michael Schumacher, looking to equal Ayrton Senna's mark with six Monaco victories, was fifth.

This was only the second pole for the younger Schumacher in his Williams-BMW. The other was in 2001.

Ralf Schumacher was timed in 1 minute, 15.259 seconds on the 2.08-mile twisting course, averaging almost 100 mph. The circuit was redesigned this year to allow more passing and higher speeds.

Michael Schumacher finished in 1:15.644 after posting the fastest time in prequalifying Thursday.

"I am not happy with this result but I am not particularly concerned about it," the older Schumacher said.

After a rough start this season, the five-time world champion is second in the driver standings, two points behind McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen. He can take the lead with a victory no matter what Raikkonen does today.

Raikkonen was timed in 1:15.84 for his lap and will start second, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Jarno Trulli.

Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher's teammate, was sixth in 1:15.820, the worst collective starting positions for Ferrari this year. David Coulthard, who won this race in 2000 and 2002 was timed in just 1:15.700.

Britain's Jenson Button crashed during morning practice and was taken to the hospital, but his team said he was not injured. Team leader David Richards is optimistic Button can race today.

Button did not take part in qualifying. If he is cleared to start Sunday, he would have to begin the 78-lap race in the pit lane because he would not have had a qualifying time.

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