Massa leads all-Ferrari front row at Sepang
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, March 22nd 2008, 07:09 GMT|
Felipe Massa took a commanding pole position for Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying.
The Brazilian, who was also on pole at Sepang a year ago, was almost half a second faster than teammate Kimi Raikkonen as the Ferraris secured both front row positions.
The McLarens had to settle for the second row, with Heikki Kovalainen beating Lewis Hamilton to third by 0.096 seconds.
Massa was fastest on both runs in Q3, and although Raikkonen briefly edged ahead of him with his second lap, the Brazilian responded with a 1:35.748 to comfortably take pole position.
Hamilton was never a contender for pole, and momentarily lost fourth place to BMW's Robert Kubica before getting back on row two with his final lap.
Toyota's Jarno Trulli - who was fastest of all in Q1 - took an impressive fifth on the grid, pushing Kubica back to sixth, one place ahead of teammate Nick Heidfeld, in the closing seconds.
Mark Webber secured eighth for Red Bull, while teammate David Coulthard was 12th after his troubled start to the weekend.
Last year's Sepang winner Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Trulli's Toyota teammate Timo Glock will start ninth and 10th.
Outside the top ten, Melbourne podium finishers Williams had an extremely disappointing session. Nico Rosberg could do no better than 16th place, while his teammate Kazuki Nakajima will start last of all.
The Japanese driver was already facing a ten-place grid penalty for taking Kubica out of the Australian Grand Prix while behind the safety car, and only managed 18th place in qualifying today.
Despite being much closer to teammate Alonso's pace than he had been in Australia, Nelson Piquet missed out on a top ten spot. He was 0.4 seconds slower than Alonso in Q2 and will start 13th.
The two Hondas also departed in Q2, although they continued to show promising form as 11th-placed Jenson Button missed a Q3 spot by just 0.068 seconds. Rubens Barrichello was four tenths of a second slower and put the second Honda 14th on the grid.
Sebastian Vettel failed to repeat his impressive Melbourne qualifying form for Toro Rosso and was only 15th. His teammate Sebastien Bourdais was eliminated in Q1 again. The Frenchman ended up 19th after going off the road at Turn 4 on his flying lap.
Both Force Indias and both Super Aguris were also knocked out early. Giancarlo Fisichella came extremely close to making the Q2 cut, moving up to 16th in the closing seconds of Q1 only to be pushed back down by Barrichello moments later.
Adrian Sutil continued to trail teammate Fisichella, lapping 0.8 seconds slower and qualifying only 21st, between Aguri duo Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson.
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps 1. Massa Ferrari 1:35.347 1:34.412 1:35.748 17 2. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.645 1:34.188 1:36.230 13 3. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.227 1:34.759 1:36.613 12 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.392 1:34.627 1:36.709 18 5. Trulli Toyota 1:35.205 1:34.825 1:36.711 18 6. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:35.794 1:34.811 1:36.727 13 7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:35.729 1:34.648 1:36.753 13 8. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:35.440 1:34.967 1:37.009 18 9. Alonso Renault 1:35.983 1:35.140 1:38.450 18 10. Glock Toyota 1:35.891 1:35.000 1:39.656 20 11. Button Honda 1:35.847 1:35.208 15 12. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:36.058 1:35.408 12 13. Piquet Renault 1:36.074 1:35.562 12 14. Barrichello Honda 1:36.198 1:35.622 15 15. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.111 1:35.648 15 16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:35.843 1:35.670 13 17. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:36.240 9 18. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.388 9 19. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.677 8 20. Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:37.087 9 21. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:37.101 10 22. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 1:37.481 9 All timing unofficial