posted on May, 30 2004 @ 08:16 AM
Michael Schumacher asserted his authority at the Nurburgring on Saturday to claim pole
position for the European Grand Prix in convincing fashion. Schumacher's 60th pole of his career was achieved as he went round the Nurburgring over
half a second ahead of BAR-Honda's Takuma Sato.
The world champion crashed out at Monaco last Sunday to see his 100% record in grands prix this season end. But, despite not topping a session all
weekend prior to qualifying, Schumacher bounced back in style to record a lap of one minute 28.351seconds to take pole position by 0.635secs from
Takuma Sato. Schumacher, who limped out of the Monaco GP after 43 laps following a run-in with Juan Pablo Montoya, was delighted.
The BAR driver claimed the best-ever qualifying result for a Japanese driver in Formula One and will start from the front row for the first time on
Sunday. Renault's Jarno Trulli, who won at Monaco, was third, just a whisker clear of fourth-placed Kimi Raikkonen, whose performance offers hope of a
change in fortunes for McLaren.
BAR's Jenson Button will start from fifth after his qualifying lap was almost a second slower than Schumacher while David Coulthard must start from
the back. Coulthard's chances were hit by a mechanical problem which forced him to park his McLaren after setting the fourth quickest time in
The Scot pushed his car to the sidelines before jumping back in the cockpit as marshalls lifted the McLaren on to the back of a truck and drove back
to the pits. He opted not to use the spare car despite mechanics preparing it for him, and instead stood casually and watched on television screens
when he was scheduled to be on track.