October 18, 2008

F1 Quals: China 2008!

As semi-predicted, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton continued his domination of Shanghai in today's quals session.  Other than a fairly lurid slide in Turn Eight in his first Q3 run, he handily owned the track and his opponents all day, ending up nearly a third of a second better than his nearest competition, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.  Let's look at the provisional grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton                
2 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:35.983 1:35.355 1:36.645
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.971 1:35.135 1:36.889
4 HWMNBN Ferrari (Renault Livery )
1:35.769 1:35.461 1:36.927
5 Heikki Kovalaininnie
McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.623 1:35.216 1:36.930
6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.238 1:35.686 1:37.083
7 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:36.224 1:35.403 1:37.201
8 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 1:35.752 1:35.386 1:37.685
9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.104 1:35.715 1:37.934
10 SeaBass STR-Ferrari 1:36.239 1:35.478 1:38.885
11 Nelson Piquet Jr
Renault 1:36.029 1:35.722
12 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:36.503 1:35.814
13 Timo Glockenspiel Toyota 1:36.210 1:35.937
14 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:36.640 1:36.079
15 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:36.434 1:36.210
16 David Coulthard's Chin
Red Bull-Renault 1:36.731

17 Kazoo Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.863

18 Jenson Button Honda 1:37.053

19 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:37.730

20 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:37.739

There are two penalties to be assessed.  The first is Mark Webber's 10-spot penalty for an engine change this morning (apparently quite a nice kablammo, too).  The second is a weird three-spot penalty given to BMW's Grizzly Nick Heidfeld for impeding the progress of The Chin in Q1.  The fact that he was penalized isn't weird, but the amount of grid spaces is... three?  Usually a penalty of that sort is either five or 10 spots.  Oh well, just another lovely call by the stewards.

Alas, Robert Kubica's faint championship hopes are pretty much completely gone after qualifying 12th on the grid.  He'd been having problems coming to grips with the car all day, complaining at one point that his BMW wouldn't turn under braking.  That's not good for a racecar.

Up at the top of the timesheet, the three Ferrari drivers are stacked between the McLarens, with Massa right behind Hamilton on the grid, and Kimi next to Lewis.  Considering the speed he's shown all weekend (and the threat of rain), if Hamilton gets a good start, he should run away and hide from the Ferraris.  If he doesn't, however, I fully expect to see him mauled and maimed by the end of Turn 3.

This should be a fun one... see ya Sunday!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:47 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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