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Jonathan Legard reports for the BBC
"His ribs may be cracked, but Coulthard's appetite is undiminished"
 real 28k

David Coulthard
"I'm very pleased to be back at the front of the grid"
 real 28k

Saturday, 20 May, 2000, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Coulthard rains on Schumi's parade

Coulthard: Only the ninth pole of his career
David Coulthard has ruined Michael Schumacher's return to action in Germany by snatching pole position for Sunday's European Grand Prix.

At times a forced break can do you good

David Coutlhard

The Ferrari star was hoping to dominate on his return to the Nurburgring, which lies just an hour's drive from his birthplace, after he missed last season's racing on home soil due to injury.

But his Scottish rival turned in a blistering time of 1 min 17.529 secs to claim his first pole since Canada in 1998, and McLaren's first ever top spot at the European GP.

Lining up behind them, following a rain-hit qualifying session, will be reigning champion Mika Hakkinen - still 14 points adrift of Schumacher - and the other Ferrari driven by Rubens Barrichello.
Michael Schumacher:
Schumacher: Looking for a big comeback

Jenson Button, whose ride with Williams is rumoured to be under threat, finished well down the table in 11th after an earlier crash in the practice session.

Coulthard's rich vein of form is all the more surprising after it was disclosed that he cracked three ribs in the jet crash that killed his two pilots ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix on 2 May.

He admitted that his injuries had forced him to take a different approach to training.

"I have not been training in the usual way," said the Scotsman.

"At times a forced break can do you good, but it's frustrating."

Fast-moving showers disrupted the whole day. All the drivers waited until the final five minutes when the weather cleared slightly to have one final sprint at improving their times.

Schumacher is the only German to have won at the Nurburgring - in 1995 - since the Formula One era started 50 years ago.

Grid positions

1. David Coulthard (Britain) McLaren one minute 17.529 seconds (average speed 211.554 kp/h)
2. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 1:17.667
3. Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren 1:17.785
4. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Ferrari 1:18.227
5. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Williams 1:18.515
6. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Jordan 1:18.612
7. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Benetton 1:18.697
8. Eddie Irvine (Britain) Jaguar 1:18.703
9. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BAR 1:18.742
10. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Germany) Jordan 1:18.830
11. Jenson Button (Britain) Williams 1:18.887
12. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Arrows 1:19.024
13. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) Prost 1:19.147
14. Jos Verstappen (Netherlands) Arrows 1:19.190
15. Alexander Wurz (Austria) Benetton 1:19.378
16. Pedro Diniz (Brazil) Sauber 1:19.422
17. Johnny Herbert (Britain) Jaguar 1:19.638
18. Jean Alesi (France) Prost 1:19.651
19. Ricardo Zonta (Brazil) BAR 1:19.766
20. Mika Salo (Finland) Sauber 1:19.814
21. Marc Gene (Spain) Minardi 1:20.162
22. Gaston Mazzacane (Argentina) Minardi 1:21.015

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See also:

18 May 00 | Motorsport
Injured Coulthard still determined
17 May 00 | Motorsport
Tale of the unexpected
10 May 00 | Motorsport
Coulthard reveals crash injuries
07 May 00 | Motorsport
Hakkinen's day as Ferrari falter
19 May 00 | Motorsport
Button lives up to his billing