Bridgestone Motorsport's Saturday Update Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) will start from pole position for Formula One's first night race, the Singapore Grand Prix, after using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to lap the 5.07km...
Bridgestone Motorsport's Saturday Update
Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) will start from pole position for Formula One's first night race, the Singapore Grand Prix, after using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to lap the 5.07km Marina Bay Street Circuit over six tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival.
Massa's lap time of 1min 44.801secs was sufficient to secure pole and the Brazilian will be joined on the front row by championship rival Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes). Reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) qualified in third position and will be joined on the second row by BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica. Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) went fifth fastest and will start Sunday's race with Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) alongside.
Monza race winner Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Toro Rosso) will start from seventh position, with Timo Glock (Panasonic Toyota Racing) eighth. Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima qualified in ninth and tenth, making it the first time this season that both AT&T Williams F1 Team drivers will start a race from the top ten.
In the evening practice session Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) was fastest, using the super soft compound. His lap time of 1min 44.506secs was over six tenths quicker than second fastest driver, Hamilton. Massa was third fastest in this session. Today's fastest lap, a 1min 44.014secs, was set by Massa in Q2 using the soft compound.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
"We saw very interesting, exciting and unpredictable qualifying sessions today, even though the leading championship contenders ended up on the front rows, which means the championship battle is very much alive. The lap times fell impressively as the track improved, even when the cars ran with heavier fuel loads. When the cars were heavier, the soft tyre gave better performance. The increased grip from the circuit means we saw higher degradation, particularly on the rear tyres and I would predict that a three stop strategy would be the preferred option from teams. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see what fuel loads the drivers have at the start of the race."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 606 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 30 laps
Most laps by a driver: 44 - Glock
Fastest lap: 1min 44.014secs - Massa (Q2)
Compounds used: Soft / Super Soft