Ferrari’s Felipe Massa put his car on pole position for the first-ever nighttime F1 Grand Prix at Singapore with a storming drive that left title contender and Championship leader Lewis Hamilton high and dry in second place. Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica were 3rd and fourth fastest. So we have a situation wherein the top four in the Drivers’ Championship occupy the top four starting slots in the Singapore Grand Prix! Awesome! What was NOT awesome was Star Sports’ decision of not to telecast the Qualifying session Live…even though its being held in their own backyard👿 EPL is of more interest apparently! Anyways, there are other means to catch the action and I did just that [Or maybe as it happened last time around, it was only my DTH provider who’s not getting the live feed for the Quali!]
There was bad news for Force India fans even before the Qualifying started as Giancarlo Fisichella suffered a crash in free practice after hitting the kerbs on turn 10. A lot of repair-work later, he did emerge for the session but was out again almost immediately. Sebastian Bourdais was the surprise dropout after Q1 alongside Rubens Barrichello, Nelson Piquet and Adrian Sutil. Meanwhile out at the top, after some scrappy runs, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen did a flyer of a lap to be P1 in the first session & Heikki Kovalainen bettered the lap set by teammate Lewis Hamilton to be P2.
Q2 started in terrible fashion for Fernando Alonso as his Renault was crippled with a fuel transmission problem and wasn’t able to post a time. Felipe Massa was the quickest in this session and Raikkonen was running second fastest until Kovalainen placed his McLaren in between them. Hamilton had a scare as he wasn’t able to set a time until just five minutes were left in the session and even then, could manage just 8th fastest…and then dropped to 10th and was in danger of missing the cut for Q3. But as luck would have it, the Red Bulls of David Coulthard and Mark Webber and the Honda of Jenson Button couldn’t squeeze past him and dropped out of the second session along with Alonso and Jarno Trulli.
Hamilton put that disappointment behind him as he went quickest in Q3, only to be pipped by Massa almost immediately! Kimi put in a quick lap but that wasn’t enough to trouble the championship leaders as they yet again exchanged fastest laps. Hamilton went quicker again but Massa was in no mood to be left second-best and his response was a stunner of a lap that was almost five-tenths of a second quicker than Hamilton’s and thus grabbing pole position. Raikkonen and Kubica were 3rd and 4th respectively with Kovalainen 5th, Heidfeld 6th, Vettel 7th, Glock 8th, Rosberg 9th and Nakajima 10th. We are in for an exciting race as the two Championship leaders are at the head of the field with Kimi & Kubica lurking behind in the second row. Gonna be a cracker of a race tomorrow!!!