Massa shoots to pole at Valencia

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Europe, Valencia Street Circuiteu

Felipe Massa has secured the first ever pole position at the Valencian urban circuit. Lewis Hamilton joins him on the first line, followed by Kubica and Raikkonen. Sebastian Vettel continuously performed well and will start from 6th on the grid.

On the new urban circuit of Valencia, almost all drivers run a very busy Q1 in order to get comfortable with the continuously changing track conditions. Early on the weekend, the track was reported as very dirty, resulting in laptimes almost 6 seconds slower than the teams had anticipated from their simulations.

In what is also a discovery session for most of the tv spectators, Hamilton takes the early lead with 4 minutes to go. Several drivers have been locking wheels on the harbour's bridge.

2 minutes before the sessions's closure, Massa tops Hamilton on the super soft tyres. Meanwhile Heidfeld is again in trouble and is angry at Glock for blocking him. One lap later he improves and qualifies for Q2.

At the end of the session, Trulli is fastest, ahead of Vettel, Massa and Alonso. At the back, Button, Coulthard, Barrichello and both Force India's are out.

Q2 proves to be very tense with Vettel masterfully in the lead. Both Renaults are however in the danger zone after their first attempts and aim to improve in their final laps at session's ending.

The final laps however hardly showed any improvement in laptimes. It knocks out Alonso and his teammate, along with the remaining Red Bull of Webber and Nakajima and Glock.

Jarno Trulli is the first out in Q3, quickly followed by Vettel. The Ferrari's quickly prove fastest as Massa tops Raikkonen. Kubica comes in third. Lewis Hamilton is fourth but made a mistake and is also on the super soft option tyre, contrary to both Ferrari drivers.

Lewis is the first to start his final attempt and improves on the provisional best. Raikkonen fails to improve but it is eventually Massa who again tops the McLaren. Kubica comes in third.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTime
1F. MassaFerrari1:38.989
2L. HamiltonMcLaren1:39.199
3R. KubicaBMW1:39.392
4K. RäikkönenFerrari1:39.488
5H. KovalainenMcLaren1:39.937
6S. VettelScuderia Toro Rosso1:40.142
7J. TrulliToyota1:40.309
8N. HeidfeldBMW1:40.631
9N. RosbergWilliams1:40.721
10S. BourdaisScuderia Toro Rosso1:40.750
11K. NakajimaWilliams1:38.428
12F. AlonsoRenault1:38.435
13T. GlockToyota1:38.499
14M. WebberRed Bull Racing1:38.515
15N. Piquet jr.Renault1:38.744
16J. ButtonHonda1:38.880
17D. CoulthardRed Bull Racing1:39.235
18G. FisichellaForce India F11:39.268
19R. BarrichelloHonda1:39.811
20A. SutilForce India F11:39.943


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News on 23 August 2008