Malaysian GP: Bridgestone qualifying report

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) will start the second round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship from pole position after using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to go fastest in qualifying at Sepang for the Petronas Malaysian Grand ...

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) will start the second round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship from pole position after using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to go fastest in qualifying at Sepang for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

Massa set a time of 1min 35.748secs and was almost half a second faster than his team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, who will join him on the front row for Sunday's 56 lap race after setting the second fastest time. McLaren Mercedes team-mates Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton will start on the second row, with Kovalainen the quicker.

Jarno Trulli (Toyota) qualified in fifth and also topped the Q1 session. He qualified ahead of BMW Sauber team-mates Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. Mark Webber (Red Bull) was eighth fastest, whilst Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Timo Glock (Toyota) were the final drivers to qualify in Q3.

The morning practice session saw Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) go fastest with a 1min 35.019secs time, set on the hard compound. The fastest time of the day was set in Q2 by Raikkonen, with a 1min 34.188secs.

The Malaysian skies over Sepang threatened rain for most of the day, but nothing of any consequence fell during the course of running, meaning that only Bridgestone's dry weather grooved tyres have been used today.

Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:

"Congratulations to Felipe Massa for his first pole position of 2008. Today it seemed that the medium compound had more grip when cars were running lighter in Q1 and Q2, but in Q3, when cars were running heavier, the difference between the hard and medium was small and some cars were quicker on the hard compound. We had heavy rain last night and the track surface started the day in a similar condition to yesterday after FP1. We saw a dramatic improvement in lap times as rubber went down on this relatively new surface through practice and qualifying today. Tyre appearance on both compounds was good and teams will have to spend a long time analysing the data we give them to decide which tyre strategy will be best if it is a dry race tomorrow. If we see a wet race, the strategies could be very interesting as we have not seen any wet running here without traction control this weekend."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 644 laps
Average number of laps per car: 29 laps
Most laps by a driver: 41 laps - Timo Glock (Toyota)
Fastest lap: 1m 34.188s - Raikkonen in Q2 2Compounds: Hard and medium

Malaysian Grand Prix in 2007 Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) won the last Malaysian Grand Prix by 17.6 seconds from team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen finished in third place for Ferrari with Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) finishing fourth. Alonso used a medium-medium-hard tyre strategy to win.

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Heikki Kovalainen , Robert Kubica , Timo Glock
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren