Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen were fast throughout the Friday and Saturday practices and even in the Q1 and Q2 of Saturday Qualifying but right when it mattered – in Q3 – McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton banged in a storming lap to take pole position for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Kimi had to be content with P2 and Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are in P3 and P4 respectively. Red Bull turned in a strong performance with David Coulthard lining up 5th on the grid and teammate Mark Webber in 7th. Ralf Schumacher had a redeeming day of sorts when he put his Toyota 6th on the grid. BWM had an off-color day as Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica could manage only 8th and 9th fastest. Honda’s Jenson Button took the 10th place on the grid.
Q1’s notable scalp was Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella and his teammate and last race’s 2nd placed Heikki Kovalainen scrapped only just into Q2 but had to content with 14th place. Jarno Trulli also had an off-day as he lined up 13th with the two Toro Rossos of Sebastian Vettel and Vitantonio Liuzzi ahead of him.
The weather forecast for sunday doesn’t look good…what with a Typhoon being predicted to hit the track!!! If it really does so, it should liven up things pretty considerably. In all of it, Alonso is the biggest loser as he has to get past the two Ferraris to get anywhere close to mounting a challenge on his teammate. As it stands, it would seem likely that Kimi will mount a challenge on Lewis right from the word go and Massa would hold off Alonso at bay!!! Either way, we are in for a cracker of a race.