Pole in China puts Hamilton on brink of glory 06 Oct 2007
Lewis Hamilton moved a step closer to his world championship ambition with a run to his sixth pole position of the season here in Shanghai today, leaving principal rival and McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso fourth on the grid.
Quite likely running a lighter fuel load with the intention of escaping into the spray should the expected rain arrive tomorrow, Hamilton pushed round in 1m 35.908s, and neither Kimi Raikkonen (1m 36.044s) nor Felipe Massa (1m 36.221s) in their Ferraris had a reply. Alonso had to be satisfied with 1m 36.576s.
A big surprise in fifth place was David Coulthard, who posted 1m 37.619s in his Red Bull. Team mate Mark Webber also made it through to Q3 and was seventh on 1m 38.153s. Ralf Schumacher sat between them for Toyota, on 1m 38.013s.
Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica are likely running fuel heavy for BMW Sauber, as they were only eighth and ninth (1m 38.455s and 1m 38.472s respectively), while Jenson Button completed the top 10 for Honda with 1m 39.285s
Q2 eliminated Toro Rossos Tonio Liuzzi as Jenson Button got his lap in right at the end. The Italian got bumped on his 1m 36.862s via Buttons 1m 36.771s. Sebastian Vettel in the other Toro Rosso was 12th on 1m 36.891s after a late improvement, while disappointing performances left Toyotas Jarno Trulli, Renaults Heikki Kovalainen and Williams Nico Rosberg out of the picture, together with Super Aguris Anthony Davidson.
Trulli lapped in 1m 36.959s to pip Kovalainen, who ran wide in Turn 16 and ended up on 1m 36.991s. Davidson did 1m 37.247s for Super Aguri, while Rosberg was left on 1m 37.483s.
Q1 took some interesting scalps too, as Hondas Rubens Barrichello (1m 37.251s) and Renaults Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 37.290s) joined Williams Alex Wurz (1m 37.456s), Super Aguris Takuma Sato (1m 38.218s), and the Spykers of Adrian Sutil (1m 38.668s) and Sakon Yamamoto (1m 39.336s) on the sidelines for Q2.