Felipe Massa Takes P1 in Valencia Qualifying

Adam PooleAnalyst IAugust 23, 2008

Qualifying is always an exciting day on the F1 calendar, but add to that a brand new circuit and a spot of rain and you have the makings of F1 heaven!

Q1 saw Ferrari and McLaren struggling on which Sebastian Vettell and Jarno Trulli capitalised, topping the grid on P1 and P2.

More strange results from drivers you rarely see at the front came in Q2 with pole-sitter Robert Kubica running one of the fastest laps—however, Ferrari weren't ready to lay back and managed to push their way up the pack, and McLaren tagged along close behind.

Fernando Alonso’s hopes of producing a big result in front of his home crowd went awry as he missed the cut for the pole shootout, starting from 12th in tomorrow's race.

In the dying moments of Q3, Lewis Hamilton pulled out a fantastic lap of 1m 39.999 which, for a few seconds, looked to have bagged in P1—however, seconds later, Massa managed to pull out the most flawless lap of the session, going over the line in 1m 38.989, much to Hamilton and the McLaren team's annoyance!

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was happy with how the session went and said, "It's great to be on pole position, especially after the great disappointment of Budapest." 

When asked where he thought he'd lost the crucial second that Massa had, Lewis Hamilton said, "Felipe Massa was significantly faster in the first sector, and I hope we’ll be able to improve there tomorrow." Although disappointed with his position, he did say that second was a "good basis for tomorrow's race."

Massa's teammate Kimi Raikkonen didn't look to have anywhere near the form that Massa managed in Q1 and Q2, pulling out some terrible times, including just scraping through Q1. 

However, Q3 was a different ballgame and he finally managed to get P4. "Fourth place is not what I was looking for, but it's definitely not the end of the world," Raikkonen said.

"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."

He does, however believe he can be in the fight for first in tomorrow's race.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. All I can say, from what I have seen of the new Valencia track today, no one will be able to lose their concentration for a second as the walls of the track, very much like Monaco, are a matter of an inch or two from the tires.