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27 Sep 2008

Massa storms to first floodlit pole in Singapore

Felipe Massa looks to be planning a repeat of his Valencia performance after he took a comfortable pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday evening.

The Brazilian upped the ante after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen had set the fastest times, lapping his F2008 in 1m 44.801s. With Hamilton next on 1m 45.465s ahead of Raikkonen on 1m 45.617s, it is probably safe to assume that Massa is running to a lighter fuel strategy.

McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen split the two BMW Saubers on his final run, his 1m 45.873s leaving him between Robert Kubica (1m 45.779s) and Nick Heidfeld (1m 45.964s).

Monza winner Sebastian Vettel was the only Red Bull-backed runner to make the top 10 this time, taking his Toro Rosso to seventh on 1m 46.244s ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 46.328s) and the Williams duo of Nico Rosberg (1m 46.611s) and Kazuki Nakajima (a top 10 first timer with 1m 47.547s).

Q2 weeded out Toyota’s Jarno Trulli (1m 45.038s), Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 45.133s), Red Bull’s Mark Webber and David Coulthard (1m 45.212s and 1m 45.298s respectively), and the unfortunate Fernando Alonso, whose Renault quit on him with fuel supply problems in Turn 18 during his out lap.

Renault’s Nelson Piquet lost out to Coulthard’s final effort in Q1, the Brazilian’s 1m 46.037s leaving him 16th in the line-up. Sebastien Bourdais didn’t get it together either, failing to push his Toro Rosso beyond 1m 46.389s. Rubens Barrichello’s weekend didn’t get any better for Honda, with 1m 46.583s for 18th.

The two Force Indias were at the back. Adrian Sutil lapped in 1m 46.940s, but Giancarlo Fisichella did nothing to endear himself to his mechanics, who had worked flat out to get him running near the end of the session following his earlier practice shunt, only for him to put his repaired VJM01 off into the barriers in Turn 3.

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Singapore, Saturday, 27 September 2008 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Singapore, Saturday, 27 September 2008 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.08.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Singapore, Saturday, 27 September 2008 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW30 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 27 September 2008
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