Turkish GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) used Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza to set pole position at Istanbul at the same place as his first ever Formula One pole, claimed here last year on Bridgestone tyres. Massa set a time of 1min 27.329secs, to go just...

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) used Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza to set pole position at Istanbul at the same place as his first ever Formula One pole, claimed here last year on Bridgestone tyres. Massa set a time of 1min 27.329secs, to go just over five hundredths faster than Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes), who will join him on the front row tomorrow.

All of the top four drivers in the drivers' championship set the fastest time in a session today, with Hamilton fastest in the morning practice, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) fastest in Q1 and Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) fastest in Q2. Alonso's Q2 time was the fastest time of the day and his 1min 26.841secs set on the medium compound was faster than last year's fastest lap from the weekend.

Track conditions were improved from yesterday but the temperatures experienced were just as high with a maximum track temperature of 49C and a maximum ambient temperature of 36C.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:

"All four championship contenders showed their form today, each one leading a session, but it was Felipe Massa who was fastest when it really mattered. This shows the battle for the championship is still open, and very difficult to predict. Qualifying was an exciting session and it was not until the last lap when it was clear who would be on pole."

"We are generally satisfied with the tyre performance today as the tyres were coping quite well with the heat. Contrary to what we saw in FP3, where there was very little difference between the two compounds, all drivers used the medium compound for their fastest laps in qualifying."

"This confirmed our estimations from yesterday, that if you were able to use the higher grip from the medium compound then there were a few tenths to be gained in lap time. However, today was about low fuel loads and single lap running. Tomorrow is race conditions where consistency and heat durability will play a major factor so it could be a different story."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 696 laps
Average number of laps per car: 32 laps
Most laps by a driver: 45 laps - Jarno Trulli
Fastest lap: 1m 26.841s - Alonso in Q2
Compounds: Hard and medium

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren