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  Saturday, 22 June, 2002, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Montoya edges out Schumachers
Juan Pablo Montoya passes a packed grandstand on his way to pole position at the Nurburgring
Montoya put in a brilliant lap for pole

Juan Pablo Montoya has won his third consecutive pole position in a tight battle with Ralf and Michael Schumacher at the European Grand Prix at Germany's Nurburgring.


Montoya set a time of one minute 29.906 seconds in his Williams-BMW to edge out team-mate Ralf Schumacher, with Michael Schumacher third.

Montoya and Michael Schumacher both had fraught sessions before recovering to snatch pole from under the nose of Ralf Schumacher, who had set the early pace.

Montoya set the decisive time with 15 minutes to go and neither of his rivals could beat it in the dying seconds.

Michael Schumacher passes thousands of his fans at the European Grand Prix
Even the German fans could not urge on Schumacher to pole
His time was 0.009secs faster than Ralf Schumacher, with Michael Schumacher three-tenths behind Montoya, who has retired from the last two races with engine failures.

Montoya said: "We came into qualifying wondering what was going to happen.

"It just got better and better and better. When you are fighting for pole it is a lot easier than fighting for fifth or sixth.

"After the morning session we were not expecting anything higher than the second row.

"I still don¿t know where the speed came from and I must admit that luck also played a part in my result."

He added: "We're confident we're going to get through in the race."

Rubens Barrichello was fourth for Ferrari, with David Coulthard ahead of Kimi Raikkonen on an all-McLaren third row and Jarno Trulli faster than Jenson Button for Renault on the fourth row.

Ralf Schumacher had set the benchmark with a 1:29.915 while both Montoya and Michael Schumacher were struggling with car problems.

Montoya ran off the track on his first run and was nearly a second slower than his team-mate on his second.

Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, had to abandon his race car and switch to the spare with a gearbox problem.

But both men eventually managed to get their cars to their liking.

Michael Schumacher gave an indication that he was in contention for pole with a 1:30.217 on his third attempt.

It is now five-four in favour of Kimi Raikkonen over David Coulthard in qualifying
Raikkonen was beaten by Coulthard this time

But although he was faster than Montoya's time at the second sector marker of his final lap, a mistake at the final corner cost him time and he could not improve on third place.

Montoya and Ralf Schumacher had also failed to improve on their final runs.

Williams' speed seemingly came from nowhere after Ferrari had set the pace throughout practice.

"To be so good is a bit surprising," Ralf Schumacher said.

"We didn't expect it to be honest. After this morning we thought we had to concern ourselves with being on the second row and not to be passed by the McLarens."

But he and Montoya benefited from their Michelin tyres, which seemed to give them an advantage for a one-lap qualifying run.

It remains to be seen whether they maintain that advantage over Ferrari's Bridgestones, which have been generally stronger in race trim this season.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Jonathan Legard
"Montoya's extra oomph carries him clear"
In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

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Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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