Sakhir, 25 April 2009 - The fact that getting both F60s into the top ten on the grid is considered a decent result for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, clearly shows the state of play at the moment, but it is an encouraging sign that Felipe Massa,...
Sakhir, 25 April 2009 - The fact that getting both F60s into the top ten on the grid is considered a decent result for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, clearly shows the state of play at the moment, but it is an encouraging sign that Felipe Massa, eighth on the grid felt the car had improved slightly. Kimi's tenth place came down to the fact that, in order to make sure of getting into Q3, he had used all his new soft tyres in the earlier parts of the session and had to make his final run on worn ones. With one car already in a points position and the other not far off, the Scuderia tackles tomorrow's fourth round of the world championship in the hope of finally bringing home its first points of the season.
It was even hotter today than yesterday, although a drop of around 5 degrees is currently predicted for race day. Even so, racing in the mid-thirties means that all elements of the package, car, engine, tyres and drivers will suffer in the heat and reliability will be put to the severest of tests. Both Felipe and Kimi went back to using KERS, following an assessment of the "with and without" comparison test yesterday, having removed it from the cars a week ago in China.
In a season that continues to throw up surprises, which is good for the race fans at least, this time it was Toyota's turn to secure pole, it's third, and indeed make it an all red and white front row: Italy's Jarno Trulli secured pole position for the fourth time in his career, with his German team-mate Timo Glock in second place.
The second row sees China winner, Sebastian Vettel in third place for Red Bull-Renault, with series leader Jenson Button alongside him in the Brawn. The third row features reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton fifth for McLaren-Mercedes, with the other Brawn of Rubens Barrichello next to him.
The session was pretty much trouble free, but Force India's Adrian Sutil has been penalised three places (to 19th spot) on the grid for impeding Mark Webber in Q1.
Massa, the winner here for the past two years and Raikkonen both feel they have a good strategy for tomorrow afternoon's test of endurance. However, the first three races have all seen strategies for the majority of competitors disrupted by rain or other unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully, the Bahrain Grand Prix might see a return to a straightforward but exciting contest. Although inevitably, as has been the case ever since Formula 1 first came to the desert in 2004, there are rumours that a sandstorm could be heading for Sakhir tomorrow afternoon!