Massa storms to pole for first night race ever

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Singapore, Marina Bay Street Circuitsg

After an entertaining qualifying session for the first ever night race in the history of Formula One, Felipe Massa has conquered pole position. Lewis Hamilton will start from the front row as well and Kimi Raikkonen seems to have recovered from some bad races as he places his Ferrari on the third place.

At 22hrs local time the qualifying session of the first Singapore Grand Prix kicked-off. Just like yesterday, almost every spot around the all-new street circuit was taken. This is the most talked about race on the 2009 calendar and at the moment, the night race seems to be a real success.

As the light at the pitlane exit turned green, Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock were the first to come out on track. As Adrian Sutil begins his first flying lap, only seven drivers are already on track. After five minutes in the session, Timo Glock has set the fastest lap with a time of 1:45:717.

Now the big guns make their way to the track. Lewis Hamilton immediately sets te fastest lap time which comes near Alonso's time from the third qualifying session, 1:44:501. As Hamilton makes it to the top of the timesheets, Alonso is on his flying lap. The Spaniard is unable to improve his former teammate's time, but places his car second.

It appears that the Singapore street circuit suits the Williams car as well. Both Rosberg and Nakajima are in the top 10.

As the last five minutes of Q1 begin, the drivers make their way to the pits to prepare themselves for their last stint.

Kovalainen jumps over team mate Lewis Hamilton to the first place with a time of 144:311. Raikkonen launches himself for another fast lap and is at faster than Kovalainen in the first sector of the Marina bay Circuit. While Raikkonen is on the verge to improve the time of the McLaren driver, Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella hits the wall and loses his front wing. This morning the Italian already crashed as his car was airborne after hitting the bumps on the kerbs at Turn 10.

With less than a minute to go, it is Kimi Raikkonen who is on top of the timesheets now. His time is 1:44:282, the fastest set at this track up until now. Raikkonen is followed by the silver duo and team mate Felipe Massa.

After Q1, Nelson Piquet Jr., Sebastien Bourdais, Rubens Barrichello, Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella are eliminated.

As the lights turn green for Q2, all the drivers seem to be getting out. Heikki Kovalainen is the first one to put down a fast lap.

After only 4 minutes, Fernando Alonso had to put his car at the side as he seems to have suffered a technical problem. The Spaniard put down the fastest lap on Friday and during the third free practice session. At this venue, this is obviously a disaster for the Spaniard as overtaking is virtually impossible. It may well complicate Renault's challenge to pass Toyota in the constructors' standings.

With only 5 minutes left Felipe Massa is the fastest man out with a time of 1:44:014. He is followed by his team mate Kimi raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. Of course the drivers still need to begin their final stint.

Lewis Hamilton just in time places himself in the top ten. He is 8th with only seconds to go on the clock.

After Q2, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Kazuki Nakajima, David Coulthard and Mark Webber are eliminated. Hamilton is only 10th and is very lucky to make it to Q3.

In Q3, the McLaren's, Ferrari's, BMW's, Toyota's, Rosberg and Vettel will battle for the pole position of the first ever night race in the history of Formula One.

The Monza winner is the first to set a timed lap, followed by Kimi Räikkönen. Moments later Kimi's time is beaten by Hamilton and then again by Felipe Massa.

After their respective stops, Raikkonen is the first to start his flying lap. Hamilton is however quicker despite a lap very much on the edge. 30 seconds later Massa re-takes his pole position, improving on Hamilton by as much as 6 tenths.

Massa will start the first ever night race from pole position. He is followed by Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTime
1F. MassaFerrari1:44.801
2L. HamiltonMcLaren1:45.465
3K. RäikkönenFerrari1:45.617
4R. KubicaBMW1:45.779
5H. KovalainenMcLaren1:45.873
6N. HeidfeldBMW1:45.964
7S. VettelScuderia Toro Rosso1:46.244
8T. GlockToyota1:46.328
9N. RosbergWilliams1:46.611
10K. NakajimaWilliams1:47.547
11J. TrulliToyota1:45.038
12J. ButtonHonda1:45.133
13M. WebberRed Bull Racing1:45.212
14D. CoulthardRed Bull Racing1:45.298
15F. AlonsoRenaultno time
16N. Piquet jr.Renault1:46.037
17S. BourdaisScuderia Toro Rosso1:46.389
18R. BarrichelloHonda1:46.583
19A. SutilForce India F11:47.940
20G. FisichellaForce India F1no time