Massa On Pole Sixth pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the fourth courtesy of Felipe Massa, while Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth: that's the outcome of qualifying for the European Grand Prix. The Brazilian thus ...
Massa On Pole
Sixth pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the fourth courtesy of Felipe Massa, while Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth: that's the outcome of qualifying for the European Grand Prix. The Brazilian thus starts from the number one spot for the thirteenth time in his career and it brings the Scuderia's pole tally in the Formula 1 World Championship to 201.
"We are very happy with Felipe's first place and he really drove very well," commented Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "It was a shame for Kimi, who could have been a bit higher up the order, even though fourth place cannot be considered a bad result. All things considered, a good day for the team, even though we are well aware that it's the race that counts. Tomorrow, we can expect a sweaty afternoon and not just because of the heat! We will have to pay great attention in managing all the possible scenarios that could occur. The decisive factors will be the usual ones - reliability first and foremost, strategy, performance and the work of the team and drivers. On top of that there will be the unknowns that go with a track being raced on for the first time. For our part, we will do our utmost to try and bring home the best possible result in terms of the championship."
Felipe Massa: "It's great to be on pole position, especially after the great disappointment of Budapest, but I'm well aware the race is tomorrow and so there is still a long way to go. My first run in Q3 was very good and on the second I made a good improvement in the first sector and that's where pole came from. Today, the track was still very slippery, partly because of last night's rain. After this morning's free practice, I thought the harder tyres would be the most competitive in qualifying, but at the start of the session, I didn't feel as comfortable anymore and so we went for the softer compound. The team did a great job in preparing for this event and I want to thank them for giving me such a strong car. I hope we can have a good race tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen: "Fourth place is not what I was looking for, but it's definitely not the end of the world. I could have been higher up the grid but on my last run in Q3, I locked the wheels at a few points and lost valuable time: it was nothing dramatic, but at this circuit, a small error is very costly. I still think I can be in the fight for the win, especially if I manage to get a good start. We have a good car, which should be especially competitive in the race."
Luca Baldisserri: "A good qualifying session, very close and made even more uncertain because of the weather. A first and a fourth place is a good outcome, even if it could have been better. Felipe did two great laps in Q3, while Kimi missed out by a whisker on being able to start from the clean side of the track. In fact, the start will be one of the decisive moments of the race. Tomorrow it will be important to try and pick up as many points as possible with both drivers. We have a car that is competitive over a long run and we will try and exploit that as well as possible. We must pay careful attention to managing all the possible scenarios that arise: as on all street circuits, the risk of a safety car period is always hanging over the race."
F. Massa: 1o. 1.38.989 6 Laps chassis 269
K. Raikkonen: 4o. 1.39.488 6 Laps chassis 270
Weather: air temperature 27C, track temperature 32C, cloudy, some spots of rain.