Massa takes F1s first night pole

F. Massa: 1st 1.44.801 6 laps chassis 269K. Raikkonen: 3rd 1.45.617 6 laps chassis 271Weather: air temperature 29 °C, track temperature 32 °C, partially cloudy.

The Brazilian driver netted the fourteenth top spot starting position of his career, and it takes the Scuderia's pole tally in the Formula 1 World Championship to 202. "A great result this evening, but it is only the first step towards achieving our objective for this weekend," commented the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "Felipe produced a fantastic lap and Kimi also did a very good job. The F2008 confirmed that it is competitive in qualifying, with half this season's poles going to our drivers. Now we must not get over excited but keep our feet firmly on the ground. Tomorrow should see a long race, riddled with difficulties. In order to win, everything will need to be executed perfectly, right down to the smallest detail."

Felipe Massa: "I did a fantastic lap in a fantastic car and it was possibly my best qualifying of the season. Given my margin over the others, with hindsight it's easy to say maybe I could have run with slightly more fuel, but we firmly believe we have a very competitive strategy. At every corner, at every braking point I tried to get the most out of the car and I think I managed it. The harder tyres have seemed better since yesterday and that's why we went in that direction. The track is very difficult and requires total concentration lap after lap because there is no room for error: it's much harder here than in Monaco. I'm pleased to be the first driver to be on pole for this Grand Prix, taking place in such a special and unusual atmosphere: I hope I can do even better tomorrow."

Kimi Raikkonen: "All things considered, this is a good result. Of course, you always hope to be in front of everyone but third place is not so bad. In Q1 and Q2, the car worked very well on the soft tyres but in Q3, on the harder ones, it was not so good anymore. Today, it was difficult to choose the best type of tyre for the decisive session because the performance difference over the first lap was not so great. I probably suffered a bit because of the time lost this morning with a technical problem which ended my free practice session ahead of time. The track is very demanding with many places where you really feel the bumps and you have to maintain concentration all the time. Tomorrow I will do my best for myself and for the team."

Luca Baldisserri: "It was an exciting qualifying session, set against a really unique backdrop. On a track with so many twists and turns, Felipe was the only one to put together the perfect lap in Q3 and his gap to the others is the proof of that. Kimi did a good job, given his set-up problems yesterday and technical issues this morning which cost him a lot of valuable track time. Tomorrow, we must not lose concentration for a moment because it's going to be a very long race full of potential pitfalls." 

Pos  Driver       Team                 Q1        Q2        Q3       1.  Massa        Ferrari              1:44.519  1:44.014  1:44.801  2.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes     1:44.501  1:44.932  1:45.465  3.  Raikkonen    Ferrari              1:44.282  1:44.232  1:45.617  4.  Kubica       BMW Sauber           1:44.740  1:44.519  1:45.779  5.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes     1:44.311  1:44.207  1:45.873  6.  Heidfeld     BMW Sauber           1:45.548  1:44.520  1:45.964  7.  Vettel       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1:45.042  1:44.261  1:46.244  8.  Glock        Toyota               1:45.184  1:44.441  1:46.328  9.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota      1:45.103  1:44.429  1:46.611  10  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota      1:45.127  1:44.826  1:47.547

11  Trulli       Toyota               1:45.642  1:45.038            12  Button       Honda                1:45.660  1:45.133            13  Webber       Red Bull-Renault     1:45.493  1:45.212            14  Coulthard    Red Bull-Renault     1:46.028  1:45.298  

15  Alonso       Renault              1:44.971                       16  Piquet       Renault              1:46.037                       17  Bourdais     Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1:46.389                       18  Barrichello  Honda                1:46.583                       19  Fisichella   Force India-Ferrari  No time                    

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