Massa looked very much the strongest driver all weekend until Robert Kubica took the first pole of his career in Q3. Whether he was carrying a much lighter fuel load or not, we won’t know until tomorrow. If this is the case or not – he drove a remarkably good lap.
At the front of the grid, it was business as usual. The Ferraris still seem to have the measure of the McLarens and, as predicted, Hamilton managed to qualify ahead of Raikkonen, (I have to point this out as all my other predictions are so far off I have promised myself never to bet on Formula 1).
Again, the ‘Don’ of one lap pace – Trulli – finished well in 7th and for the first time this season Button made it into the third session. Having been bold enough to say that the Toyotas just don’t have the race pace to finish in the points earlier this season, I stand corrected. Having been the only team that started with a clean sheet of paper for their 2008 car they seem to be consistently capable of scoring points. Add to that the fact that they are one of only two teams to test in Bahrain – expect more of the same tomorrow.
It was good to see Button finish the day 9th on the grid. The Honda is improving and I suggest it will continue to do so. Brawn has made it clear that he has the ability to make on-the-spot decisions which before had to go through days of committees. With the capacity to move forward unhindered by delays (in the right direction) they really should be scoring points sooner rather than later.
However, if there was one driver with ‘less luck’ than Webber – you’d probably have to say Button was up there with the ‘best’ of them. Lets just hope that’s not the case on race day.
Predictions for tomorrow? Well, if Massa stays on the track and his Ferrari engine doesn’t decide to pack-up then I am sure he will finish on the podium. Whether he can keep Raikkonen behind him or whether Kubica has the pace to challenge the Scuderia over a long distance I am not sure, but the Pole is certainly in the right position to fight for his best finish yet. I don’t think the McLarens have the speed to trouble the two teams on the front row so I doubt whether they’ll be on the podium. Who knows… knowing my predictions, the podium will consist of McLarens and Red Bulls.