Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher earned his first pole position of the season yesterday, clocking the fastest lap during qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
"We feel very delighted after a suffering period when things did not work in our favor," Schumacher said. "I am pretty confident. There was no reason to not believe in Ferrari's return."
It was his 64th career pole position, but his first in 14 races. His previous pole came at last October's Japanese Grand Prix.
Ferrari's last pole was the final race of 2004, the Brazilian GP when Rubens Barrichello led. Schumacher's next one will tie him with Ayrton Senna for the Formula One all-time mark.
Schumacher has struggled all season after winning 12 of his first 13 races last year. He has just one win, at the tainted U.S. Grand Prix after seven teams pulled out because of safety concerns over Michelin tires.
On a hot day in the Hungarian hills, with track temperatures approaching 122 degrees, the Ferrari driver clocked 1 minute 19.882 seconds on the twisting 2.722-mile Hungaroring circuit.
McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya, who has taken first and second in the last two races, was next with 1:20.779, ahead of Toyota driver Jarno Trulli, third with 1:20.839.
* NASCAR BUSCH SERIES: Rookie Reed Sorenson took control with 33 laps to go and pulled away to win the Wallace Family Tribute 250 in Madison, Ill.
Mike Wallace, one of three racing brothers from the St. Louis area family, finished second at the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway oval. Rusty Wallace, honored during his final year of racing before retiring, led for 17 laps in the middle of the 200-lap race before crashing on lap 137 and finishing 37th, and Kenny Wallace was 24th.
"The car was very quick," Rusty Wallace said. "I'm disappointed right now because the car was easily a top-five car. It's just really tough right now because I really wanted to win this race in my home town."
The event drew a crowd estimated at 60,000, largest ever at the raceway.
* IRL: Bryan Herta won his third pole of the IndyCar season in qualifying for the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
In today's race, he'll be looking for his first win of the season.
Herta clocked in at 219.141 mph during qualifying on the wide, two-mile oval. Tomas Scheckter will start second after qualifying at 219.100, while defending race champion Buddy Rice will start third at 218.909.
Danica Patrick qualified eighth.
* CHAMP CAR: Sebastien Bourdais has the new and very difficult street circuit at the San Jose Grand Prix all figured out.
The reigning series champion earned his third pole of the season and the 16th of his career with a lap averaging 96.101 mph on the temporary course in downtown San Jose.