Massa leads all-Ferrari front row at Sepang

Felipe Massa took a commanding pole position for Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying

Massa leads all-Ferrari front row at Sepang

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

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