Massa takes commanding pole in Turkey

Felipe Massa will start from pole position in Turkey for the third successive year after a dominant performance in qualifying at Istanbul Park

Massa takes commanding pole in Turkey

The Ferrari driver, who is also chasing a third straight win at the track, was nearly half a second clear of the rest of the field after his first flying lap in Q3, and although the McLarens closed in, Massa improved on his second lap to claim pole with a 1:27.617.

Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton took second and third for McLaren, but championship leader Kimi Raikkonen could only manage fourth in the second Ferrari.

The McLarens had been over a second off Massa's pace in the first part of Q3, then made major gains on their second runs. Hamilton used the hard tyres to take third, while Kovalainen briefly knocked Massa off the provisional pole before having to settle for the outside front row position.

Robert Kubica completed the top five for BMW, four places ahead of teammate Nick Heidfeld.

Red Bull Racing got both their cars into the top ten for the first time in 2008. Mark Webber and David Coulthard then chose to save fuel and only do one run in Q3, taking sixth and 10th respectively.

Jarno Trulli maintained his record of reaching Q3 for every race so far this year and qualified eighth, while his Toyota teammate Timo Glock languished in 15th position.

Alonso was unable to repeat his astonishing Barcelona qualifying form, but did make it into the top ten again. He will start seventh.

Rubens Barrichello couldn't manage to claim a top ten start for his record-breaking 257th Grand Prix, but he did out-pace teammate Jenson Button, as the Hondas took 12th and 13th places, just behind Nico Rosberg (Williams).

The German squeezed into the top ten in the last seconds of Q2, then got pushed back to row six when Heidfeld recovered from a poor first lap to guarantee a Q3 position with his final run.

The demise of Super Aguri made it tougher for the midfield teams to secure a place in Q2, with only 15 rather than the previous 16 drivers now proceeding to the second qualifying segment under the tweaked format.

Williams' Kazuki Nakajima and Renault's Nelson Piquet were the drivers to lose out, with Nakajima spinning on the exit of Turn 7 on his first Q1 run and then only reaching 16th at the second attempt. He will start one place ahead of Piquet, who briefly got up to 15th then was edged back to 17th as others improved in the final seconds.

Sebastian Vettel impressively reached Q2 in the 2007 Toro Rosso chassis' last qualifying session, but his teammate Sebastien Bourdais was only 18th-fastest in Q1, albeit just 0.179 seconds slower than Vettel, who ultimately qualified 14th.

The Force India cars were slowest of all. Although Giancarlo Fisichella out-qualified teammate Adrian Sutil by half a second, he will start behind the German thanks to his penalty for passing the pit exit red light at the start of Friday practice.

Pos Driver Make Q1 Q2 Q3 laps 1. Massa Ferrari 1:25.994 1:26.192 1:27.617 16 2. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.736 1:26.290 1:27.808 16 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.192 1:26.477 1:27.923 15 4. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.457 1:26.050 1:27.936 17 5. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:26.761 1:26.129 1:28.390 17 6. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:26.773 1:26.466 1:28.417 17 7. Alonso Renault 1:26.836 1:26.522 1:28.422 18 8. Trulli Toyota 1:26.695 1:26.822 1:28.836 20 9. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:27.107 1:26.607 1:28.882 20 10. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:26.939 1:26.520 1:29.959 16 11. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:27.367 1:27.012 13 12. Barrichello Honda 1:27.355 1:27.219 13 13. Button Honda 1:27.428 1:27.298 14 14. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:27.442 1:27.412 15 15. Glock Toyota 1:26.614 1:27.806 15 16. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:27.547 9 17. Piquet Renault 1:27.568 7 18. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:27.621 8 19. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:27.807 10 20. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:28.325 9 All timing unofficial 
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Webber tops final practice in Turkey

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