May 10, 2008

F1 Quals: Turkey 2008!

Ho-hum, another race, another pole for Felipe Massa.  His third in a row, Massa ripped off what would be a surprisingly quick lap at the end for anybody else, but we're coming to expect that sort of thing from the Ferrari driver.  He nipped McLaren's Heikki Kovelainenninninnie for pole at the last second.  It's still the first time Heikki's been on the front row.

Heikki's teammate, Lewis Hamilton, managed to bring his steed into third on the grid, beating Kimi Raikkonnen of Ferrari out by .13 seconds, who in turn shoved Robert Kubica into 5th on his last lap of Q3.

An interesting strategy for the two RedBull drivers, who were only on track long enough to turn one hot-lap each.  Mark Webber managed 6th place, but David Coulthard's Chin couldn't get off 10th.  Still, one has to expect that they've got a bunch of fuel in the tanks, and they didn't use much of it at all, so expect them to get a longer run than might be common.  Whether it'll work or not remains to be seen.  HWMNBN, Jarno Trulli, and Nick Heidfeld, who had been having troubles coming to grips with his BMW all day, finish up the top 10.

The provisional grid:

Felipe Massa             
2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes  
1:26.7361:26.290 1:27.808
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.192 1:26.477 1:27.923
4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.457 1:26.050 1:27.936
5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:26.761 1:26.129 1:28.390
6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:26.773 1:26.466 1:28.417
7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:26.836 1:26.522 1:28.422
8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:26.695 1:26.822 1:28.836
9 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:27.107 1:26.607 1:28.882
10 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:26.939 1:26.520 1:29.959
11 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:27.367 1:27.012
12 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:27.355 1:27.219
13 Jenson Button Honda 1:27.428 1:27.298
14 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 1:27.442 1:27.412
15 Timo Glock Toyota 1:26.614 1:27.806
16 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:27.547

17 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 1:27.568

18 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 1:27.621

19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:27.807

20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:28.325

The track at the Istanbul Otodrom is driving much different for this race than in the past two.  Part of that, surely, is because of the lack of traction control, but a good portion of the reason is the weather.  In the past, this race has been in August and the ambient air temps have been pushing 95o F, with the track temps well over 110o.  Today, the temps were thirty degrees cooler, and it had rained earlier to boot.  While no rain is expected for the race, the air is supposed to be cool-ish, which is making Bridgestone very nervous: the "soft" tires they've brought to the track (actually the medium compound) aren't very good in cool air.  There's already been reports that they've suffered severe cases of graining.

So, how the teams make their tire choices might be even more important than normal on Sunday.  We'll find out...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:52 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 It's nice to see Kubica doing well again. Maybe, if we're lucky, he'll give McLaren and Ferrarri a challenge this season.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 10, 2008 08:44 PM (+rSRq)

2 It's also nice to see that Heikki has bounced back from his crash.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 10, 2008 08:47 PM (+rSRq)

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