Saturday, June 30, 2007

Massa beat 0.070s

Felipe Massa muscled his Ferrari into pole position for tomorrow's French Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton by just 0.070s in a very close fought qualifying session at Magny Cours. Kimi Raikkonen qualified third ahead of Robert Kubica. Fernando Alonso's hopes were dashed by a suspected gearbox problem.

It was a warmer day at Magny Cours with air temperature at 24 degrees Centigrade and the track 43 degrees, a contrast with yesterday's very cool conditions. Lewis Hamilton put down an early marker in the first session, but Kimi Raikkonen was less than a tenth off with Massa and Alonso third and fourth - pole position looking like a four-way fight. While the McLarens and Ferraris cruised through the first session Liuzzi, Wurz, Sato, Davidson, Albers and Sutil were knocked out. In the second session Coulthard's Red Bull developed an electronics problem early on, putting him out of the action along with Ralf Schumacher, Button, Barrichello, Webber and Speed. Disaster struck Fernando Alonso in the pole position shoot out as the reigning champion pulled into the pits with a gearbox problem after just one lap putting him out of the session and dashing his hopes for the weekend. On track it was a scrap between Massa, Hamilton and Raikkonen for pole. Felipe Massa snatched pole from Hamilton by just 0.070s with Raikkonen third 0.150s further adrift. Kubica made an emphatic return in the BMW Sauber to take fourth ahead of Fisichella, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Trulli and Rosberg. Alonso was officially classified tenth.
1. F. Massa Ferrari 1:15.034

2. L. Hamilton McLaren 1:15.104

3. K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:15.257

4. R. Kubica BMW 1:15.493

5. G. Fisichella Renault 1:15.674

6. H. Kovalainen Renault 1:15.826

7. N. Heidfeld BMW 1:15.900

8. J. Trulli Toyota 1:15.935

9. N. Rosberg Williams 1:16.328

10. F. Alonso McLaren no time

11. R. Schumacher Toyota 1:15.534

12. J. Button Honda 1:15.584

13. R. Barrichello Honda 1:15.761

14. M. Webber Red Bull 1:15.806

15. S. Speed STR 1:16.049

16. D. Coulthard Red Bull no time

17. V. Liuzzi STR 1:16.142

18. A. Wurz Williams 1:16.241

19. T. Sato Super Aguri 1:16.244

20. A. Davidson Super Aguri 1:16.366

21. C. Albers Spyker F1 1:17.826

22. A. Sutil Spyker F1 1:17.915

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