Felipe Massa: 8th 1.34.818 6 giriKimi Raikkonen: 10th 1.35.380 6 giri
Chassis: F. Massa 275, K. Raikkonen 276Weather: air temperature 40 °C, track temperature 53/51 °C, sunny.
Two cars in the top ten: that’s the outcome of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, with Felipe Massa in eighth place and Kimi Raikkonen tenth. The two Ferrari men got through Q1, with the sixth and ninth fastest times and Q2, fourth and ninth; in both cases with Kimi ahead of Felipe. In the final part of qualifying, Felipe was able to get the most out of his last remaining set of the softer tyres, while Kimi used two worn sets, also the softer ones. “We were aware of the current situation in terms of the pecking order and how difficult it would be to get into Q3. You only had to look at the times in the second part of the session, with five cars all within half a tenth,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “The slightest thing and you wouldn’t make it. Cleary this is not a Ferrari-style result, but we have to make a virtue out of necessity. Tomorrow, it will be vital to ensure that first and foremost, we make it to the chequered flag. With these high temperatures, car reliability faces a stiff test. Our aim is simple, to wipe the zero off our score card in the championship.”
Felipe Massa: “It seems we have made a small step forward, but we know we still have a long way to go. Personally, I’m happy to be back in the top ten in qualifying and I hope I can have a good race and make it into the top eight. This morning, the car was handling very well, but in the afternoon it lost a little bit of performance because of oversteer, probably down to the track conditions. Tomorrow it will be very hot and that will have a considerable effect on reliability and tyre performance. We must try and make it to the finish and bring home some points, maybe making the most of the KERS, especially at the start.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “It would have been difficult to do better than tenth. In the first two parts of qualifying, the car handled better than we had expected, but in Q3 I no longer had any new soft tyres, having already used all four sets. The car’s performance has improved with KERS. Tomorrow, the race will be very tough because of the high temperatures. Let’s see what we manage to do. The aim is to finish in the points.”
Chris Dyer: “We can’t claim to be happy in absolute terms with our performance, but at least for the second time this season, we managed to get both cars into Q3. In the final part of qualifying, Kimi struggled a bit more than his team-mate, as he had no more new soft tyres, but all things considered, that’s the best we could have expected today. We have a good strategy and hope to bring home both cars in the points tomorrow. Yesterday afternoon we decided to fit the KERS to both cars. We studied carefully the data from free practice and that led us to go for this solution.”
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