Grand Prix Special, Turkey – Qualifying



Massa is certainly in the right position to go for a hat trick of wins in Istanbul after he put his car on pole, ahead of McLaren driver Kovalainen. Hamilton, who admitted to having opted for the wrong tyres, finished Q3 in third ahead of Raikkonen.


It is good to see that Renault continue to stay in the top 10, although a poor qualifying performance by Piquet left him down in 17th. I may be off-line here but in his first 5 Formula 1 races the young Brazilian has done little to impress. He is a quick driver, there is no doubt about it, but he seems to be suffering from the same ailment that Kovalainen had last year in his first year in Formula 1 and at Renault. Whether it is because the team is focusing so much on Alonso or whether Piquet is just taking time to settle in, I am not sure. I just hope that he has a strong race tomorrow; he certainly needs one.


Both Red Bulls finished in the top 10, as did both the BMWs and the Toyota of qualifying king, Trulli. Vettel did a good job finishing in P14 as the Scuderia Toro Rosso is still waiting to debut their new car after Bourdais’ moment in testing, writing off the car and delaying the launch date. The new car will now make its first race start in Monaco, which has been met with mixed emotions. On the one hand the sooner they get the car out the better. However, Monaco is such a unique circuit that launching a new car there could well be fraught with problems.

So what’ll happen tomorrow? Massa will certainly be a favourite, having won here the last two years and it looks like his ‘moments’ seem to be confined to when he is attacking rather than defending. If the McLarens play it right, this may be the first race of the year that both drivers are on the podium. However, don’t forget the Finn and I wouldn’t be surprised if he picked up a few places over the start and pit stops to maybe even give Massa something to sweat about.


Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. Massa Ferrari 1:25.994 1:26.192 1:27.617
2. Kovalainen McLaren 1:26.736 1:26.290 1:27.808
3. Hamilton McLaren 1:26.192 1:26.477 1:27.923
4. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.457 1:26.050 1:27.936
5. Kubica BMW 1:26.761 1:26.129 1:28.390
6. Webber Red Bull 1:26.773 1:26.466 1:28.417
7. Alonso Renault 1:26.836 1:26.522 1:28.422
8. Trulli Toyota 1:26.695 1:26.822 1:28.836
9. Heidfeld BMW 1:27.107 1:26.607 1:28.882
10. Coulthard Red Bull 1:26.939 1:26.520 1:29.959
11. Rosberg Williams 1:27.367 1:27.012 No time
12. Barrichello Honda 1:27.355 1:27.219
13. Button Honda 1:27.428 1:27.298
14. Vettel STR 1:27.442 1:27.412
15. Glock Toyota 1:26.614 1:27.806
16. Nakajima Williams 1:27.547 No Time
17. Piquet Renault 1:27.568
18. Bourdais STR 1:27.621
19. Fisichella F India 1:27.807
20. Sutil F India 1:28.325

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