September 06, 2008

F1 Quals: SPA 2008!

If you told me this morning that it was likely to rain during today's quals session at the Spa-Francopants circuit, I would have said "...and the surface of the sun is hot, it's fairly cold in Antarctica, and you're likely to see big eyes in anime."

So of course it was completely dry all day.  To further scramble my entire world view, SeaBass and his Toro Rosso was fastest in Q1.  At least Honda was really slow, so there's still some things happening the way they're supposed to.  If you start hearing stories about sunburned penguins, though, head for the hills.

Oh, the grid?  McLaren-Ferrari-McLaren-Ferrari.  Color me surprised.  Here's the provisional grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes  
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:46.873 1:46.391 1:47.678
3 Heikki Kovalaininnie McLaren-Mercedes 1:46.812 1:46.037 1:47.815
4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:46.960 1:46.298 1:47.992
5 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:47.419 1:46.311 1:48.315
6 HWMNBN Renault 1:47.154 1:46.491 1:48.504
7 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:47.270 1:46.814 1:48.736
8 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:47.093 1:46.494 1:48.763
9 SeaBass   
STR-Ferrari 1:46.777 1:46.544 1:48.951
10 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 1:47.152 1:46.804 1:50.319
11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:47.400 1:46.949
12 Nelson Piquet, Jr
Renault 1:47.052 1:46.965
13 Timo Glock Toyota 1:47.359 1:46.995
14 David Coulthard's Chin  
Red Bull-Renault 1:47.132 1:47.018
15 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:47.503 1:47.429
16 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:48.153

17 Jenson Button Honda 1:48.211

18 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:48.226

19 Kazoo Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:48.268

20 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:48.447

Kudos to Toro Rosso again for showing that they DO have speed, even though they're 9-10 on the grid.  SeaBass' performance was legit, even though the team does have a ways to go.  I've completely lost any chance there was on predicting how BMW is going to do in quals OR in the race... they're just too inconsistent now.  It's clear that they're the third best team on the grid, but it's also clear they really aren't close to the Big Two anymore.

40 years ago at Spa, Bruce McLaren, the founder of the team of the same name, won his first race for his team.  It seems appropriate, therefore, that Hamilton and Kovalaininnie are in great shape for the race.  I wonder, though, if they're short fueled?  They WERE faster than the Ferraris all day, but that doesn't mean anything per se

It seems that the Red Cars do better when it's warm and dry... and if there's one thing you can say about the Swimming Pool at Spa, it's that it won't be either come raceday.  However, Kimi Raikkonen has won the last three Belgian Grand Prix ('04 & '05 for McLaren, '07 for Ferrari... of course, there was no race in '06 as they were remodeling the course that year), so it's hard to bet against him.

And then there's the rain.  If it rains, about the only thing you can say is that Felipe Massa will drive like he's on rails... that lead right into the nearest gravel trap.  Other than that, it'll be a crapshoot.

Let's hope for rain!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:43 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I saw the news. Hoo boy, hoo boy, hoo boy...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 07, 2008 01:45 PM (+rSRq)

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