European GP: Bridgestone qualifying report

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) will start from pole position for Bridgestone's 200th Grand Prix after achieving his fourth pole position of this season by using Bridgestone's super soft compound Potenza to go fastest in qualifying in ...

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) will start from pole position for Bridgestone's 200th Grand Prix after achieving his fourth pole position of this season by using Bridgestone's super soft compound Potenza to go fastest in qualifying in Valencia for the European Grand Prix, round twelve of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa's lap time - a 1min 38.989secs - was over two tenths of a second quicker than that of championship rival Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), who was second fastest, also using the super soft tyre. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team) and Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the third and fourth fastest times.

Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) was fifth fastest and Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Toro Rosso) will start alongside him. Jarno Trulli (Panasonic Toyota Racing) qualified in seventh with Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber F1 Team) eighth. Nico Rosberg (AT&T Williams) and Sebastien Bourdais (Scuderia Toro Rosso) were the final two drivers to qualify inside the top ten.

In the morning practice session times were surprisingly close given the new nature of the circuit and the challenges faced. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team) went fastest with a 1min 38.754secs, set on the super soft compound, whilst Rosberg and Bourdais went second and third fastest. Today's fastest lap time, a 1min 37.842secs, was set by Vettel using the super soft compound in Q2.

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

"Congratulations to Felipe Massa and Ferrari for achieving the first pole position at this exciting new street course in the wonderful city of Valencia. Today's running was very interesting and we have seen the lap times continually improve as the drivers and teams learn the circuit and the track grip levels increased. The top three drivers qualified on the super soft, whilst the fourth fastest driver used the soft, so there is scope for an interesting variety of strategies tomorrow. Congratulations to Toro Rosso for setting today's fastest lap time with Sebastian Vettel and getting both cars into the top ten in qualifying. This is a quick circuit and one that should give us an interesting race tomorrow."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 446 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 22 laps
Most laps by a driver: 41 - Raikkonen
Fastest lap: 1min 37.842secs - Vettel (Q2)
Compounds used: Soft / Super Soft

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Robert Kubica , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams , Toyota Racing