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Saturday, August 1, 1998 Published at 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK

Hakkinen takes pole

This is Mika Hakkinen's seventh pole of the season

Mika Hakkinen took another small step towards his first world championship as he claimed pole position for Sunday's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

BBC correspondent Jonathan Legard reports from Hockenheim
The Finn's good day was made even better by a disastrous session on home soil for main rival Michael Schumacher.

The German was only ninth quickest in his Ferrari, as Hakkinen's McLaren team-mate David Coulthard joined the championship leader on the front row of the grid.

[ image: David Coulthard: Problems with his electrics]
David Coulthard: Problems with his electrics
Hakkinen eventually beat Coulthard by half-a-second after another private McLaren duel to claim his seventh pole of the season and eighth of his 107-race career.

The Scot had to use his spare car after electrical problems forced him to park his McLaren off the circuit and rush back to the pits for the spare car.

Outgoing champion Jacques Villeneuve was third fastest in his Williams, his best qualifying position this season.

However his German team-mate Heinz Harald Frentzen failed to match the Canadian's performance and posted the tenth best time.

As he and the elder Schumacher struggled, Michael's younger brother Ralf was the fastest German at Hockenheim, and fourth fastest overall in his Jordan.

Team-mate Damon Hill was marginally slower and starts the race from fifth.

Ferrari's Eddie Irvine was sixth fastest, three places ahead of his illustrious German team-mate.

Bad day for Schumacher

[ image: Stranded: Michael Schumacher had to watch practice after a spin]
Stranded: Michael Schumacher had to watch practice after a spin
Michael Schumacher's day started poorly and went from bad to worse.

In the morning practice session he slid out and hit technical problems.

Then in qualifying he was held up by Arrows driver Pedro Diniz as he finished over one-and-a-half seconds slower than Hakkinen.

The Benettons of Alexander Wurz and Giancarlo Fisichella make up the top ten for Sunday's race in seventh and eighth places.

Grid for German Grand Prix

1. Mika Hakkinen (McLaren)
2. David Coulthard (McLaren)
3. Jacques Villeneuve (Williams)
4. Ralf Schumacher (Jordan)
5. Damon Hill (Jordan)
6. Eddie Irvine (Ferrari)
7. Alexander Wurz (Benetton)
8. Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton)
9. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
10. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Williams)
11. Jean Alesi (Sauber)
12. Johnny Herbert (Sauber)
13. Rubens Barrichello (Stewart)
14. Jarno Trulli (Prost)
15. Toranosuke Takagi (Tyrrell)
16. Olivier Panis (Prost)
17. Mika Salo (Arrows)
18. Pedro Paolo Diniz (Arrows)
19. Jos Verstappen (Stewart)
20. Shinji Nakano (Minardi)
21. Esteban Tuero (Minardi)

Brazilian driver Ricardo Rosset of Tyrrell, who left the track in free testing, did not take part in the qualifying on medical officials' advice.

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