F1

Singapore GP: Ferrari qualifying report

One car at the head of the field, the other at the bottom of the time sheet: that is the bitter-sweet outcome of qualifying for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in the Singapore Grand Prix. On the one hand there is great regret because of the gearbox ...

One car at the head of the field, the other at the bottom of the time sheet: that is the bitter-sweet outcome of qualifying for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in the Singapore Grand Prix. On the one hand there is great regret because of the gearbox problem that meant Felipe Massa was unable to complete a single timed lap in Q1, on the other there is delight at a fantastic pole from Fernando Alonso, the second of the season for the Spanish driver and the Scuderia. This brings the Scuderia's total number of poles to 204, two of them set at this track. For Fernando, this will be the twentieth time in his career that he starts from the number one grid slot. "This was a day of truly contrasting emotions," said Stefano Domenicali. "We are very disappointed that a technical problem meant Felipe basically took no part in qualifying: tomorrow, he will face a very difficult race, as indeed will Fernando, although the outlook for him is very different, starting from pole position. He put in an exceptional qualifying performance, getting the very most out of the car and finding that little something extra to go quickest in Q3. Tomorrow, it will be important to get a good start and to make the right choices, especially with a question mark over the weather and the safety-car: above all, we have to bear in mind that reliability is the crucial element."

Fernando Alonso:

"Every pole position is important, but clearly, starting from the front in a race like this and at this point in the season is very important and gives one hope of being able to bring down the gap in the classification even more. Setting two pole positions in a row, at circuits as different as Monza and Singapore is a real boost, because it means that the car can be really competitive at every type of track. It was certainly not an easy day, but in qualifying we managed to get the very best out of the car, while I don't think our main rivals could say the same. Honestly, I thought that the Red Bulls, which had dominated the weekend so far, would be out in front and that third was a realistic target but instead I am on pole: it's almost like an Easter surprise! There was a tense moment in Q2 when something did not work as it should have done with the engine mapping, but once it was reprogrammed, everything was back to normal. The start will be very important tomorrow, but even more so will be the need to maintain total concentration for the 61 laps of a very long race that will be extremely demanding both physically and on the car. Track conditions will play a key role, because we have seen that some sections remain damp for a long time, so just a bit of rain even a few hours before the start, could change the situation. We must run our own race and I am sure we can bring home a good result: we are in the best possible position to succeed."

Felipe Massa:

"I had a problem with the gearbox which seized unexpectedly, without giving any warning and so I had to stop out on the track: now we have to understand exactly what happened. We will change the engine as a precaution, also taking into account the fact I am last on the grid. I'm expecting to have a very complicated race, especially as we are at a track where overtaking is very difficult, but it's true that anything can always happen: rain, safety car, who knows! I am very disappointed of course because today we had a very competitive car, as Fernando proved. I like this track but it seems that it does not bring me much luck..."

Chris Dyer:

"What happened to Felipe is very disappointing. Fernando demonstrated the full potential of the F10 and it would have been nice to see both cars fighting for the top places. Unfortunately, there was a problem on the gearbox, the cause of which we have not fully identified yet, which meant Felipe had to stop out on track on his first timed lap. Fernando was really fantastic in qualifying: in Q3 he did two timed laps, both of which would have been good enough for pole, that were exceptional given what had happened up until the start of qualifying, as he had never managed to put together a clean lap on the soft tyres. The team did a great job to produce a car capable of fighting for pole. Tomorrow we can expect a very tough race on a track that does not pardon any mistakes. The management of the tyres will be interesting, as the degradation seems a bit more marked than in recent races, which means we might see some different strategies to usual."

-source: ferrari

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