Massa beats Hamilton to pole 14 Apr 2007
Felipe Massa took the fifth pole position of his career in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, with McLarens Lewis Hamilton splitting the two Ferraris.
Hamilton has led McLarens attack all weekend, and battled the red cars throughout the three qualifying sessions Massa was fastest from Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in the first, headed Hamilton, Raikkonen, Nick Heidfeld and Alonso in the second, and retained the initiative in the third with a lap of 1m 322s
Hamiltons response of 1m 3293s was good enough for the other front-row slot, marking the first time he will start from that rank and the first time he has out-qualified his team mate, as Alonso managed only 1m 33192s to trail Raikkonens 1m 33131s It remains to be seen whether the Finn and the Spaniard were running significantly greater fuel loads than their team mates
The BMW Saubers occupy the third row, with Nick Heidfeld rising to the challenge of team mate Robert Kubica to lap his F107 in 1m 33710s With the fast starts both drivers have been making recently, they could be a threat on the long run down to the first corner tomorrow
Giancarlo Fisichella pushed Renault back up towards the front with the seventh-fastest time of 1m 340s following a late gearbox change on his R27 Behind him was Mark Webber who got his Red Bull wound up for 1m 3410s The top 10 was completed by Jarno Trulli who lapped his Toyota in 1m 3414s and Nico Rosberg, who buzzed his Williams to 1m 34399s
All of the quick times were set on Bridgestones medium tyre rather than the harder compound
Williams Alex Wurz lines up 11th, just getting bumped from the final session after a lap of 1m 3291s in Q2 Heikki Kovalainen joins him on the sixth row, after a lap of 1m 3293s in his Renault The Finn ran his race engine in the team's spare car after a suspected fuel pump problem in final practice
Anthony Davidson was a star of Q1, setting the seventh best time then in his Super Aguri His 1m 33082s lap in Q2 leaves him 13th, with Ralf Schumacher for company after the Toyota driver complained of understeer on his TF107 en route to recording 1m 33294s
Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were 1th and 1th, almost inseparable in their Hondas on 1m 3324s and 1m 33731s respectively, as both struggled to find an optimum aero set-up In 17th place was Takuma Sato, who took his Super Aguri round in 1m 33984s Toro Rossos Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed were next up, with laps of 1m 34024s and 1m 34333s Adrian Sutil is 20th for Spyker with 1m 34280s, followed by David Coulthard who didnt get his Red Bull going better than 1m 34341s after gearbox problems He will be joined at the back by Christijan Albers The Dutchman ran off the road in Turn One in his Spyker, which he lapped in 1m 333s in Q1
The stage is thus set for another gripping confrontation between Ferrari and McLaren, with Hamilton aiming to go 3-2-1 on his results and to become the youngest-ever British winner of a Grand Prix
Aware of the 22 year-olds penchant for fast starts, poleman Massa said: Our strategy for the first corner? Be more aggressive! We gave him the space last weekend; now we know what he can do we dont give the space any more!