Massa on pole as Ferrari lock out Monaco front row 24 May 2008
Ferrari came to Monte Carlo hoping for a much better showing than they managed in 2007, when the McLarens ran rings round them, and with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen sitting on the front row, they got off to a great start in qualifying on Saturday.
Massa lapped in 1m 15.787s to snatch pole from Raikkonen (1m 15.815s) in the dying seconds, and if he wins on Sunday he will be the first Ferrari driver to do so from pole here since Jody Scheckter in 1979. The South African, it should perhaps be noted, also went on to win that years title.
Lewis Hamilton looked set for second place on the grid with 1m 15.839s for McLaren, until Massas late run. He shares the second row with team mate Heikki Kovalainen, who lapped in 1m 16.165s and is likely to be running a little bit more fuel.
Robert Kubica was his customary fifth with 1m 16.171s for BMW Sauber, while Nico Rosberg carried his excellent practice form into qualifying with sixth on the grid for Williams in 1m 16.548s.
Fernando Alonso lined his Renault up in seventh place with 1m 16.852s, while Red Bulls Mark Webber and David Coulthard were eighth and 10th. But where the Australian lapped his RB4 in 1m 17.343s, the Scot did not actually participate in Q3 after crashing heavily at the end of Q2 as he exited the tunnel. Whether the cause was car or driver has yet to be established, but thankfully the Scot was unharmed, and starts 10th on the strength of his lap of 1m 15.839s from Q2.
Between them sits Jarno Trulli, who recovered his momentum after his various problems this weekend to fractionally outqualify Toyota team mate Timo Glock. The Italian lapped in 1m 17.203s. The German is right behind him on 1m 15.907s as the 11th fastest man in Q2. Jenson Button was Hondas leader on 1m 16.101s, chased by an unhappy Nick Heidfeld for BMW Sauber (1m 16.455s), Williams Kazuki Nakajima (1m 16.479s) and Hondas Rubens Barrichello (1m 16.537s).
Q1 had earlier accounted for the Toro Rossos, the Force Indias and the unfortunate Nelson Piquet in the second Renault. Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais just missed out after a lap of 1m 16.806s left him adrift of Nakajimas 1m 16.756s, then came Piquet (1m 16.933s) and Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel (1m 16.955s), who will drop five places on the grid on account of the new gearbox in his STR3.
Force Indias Adrian Sutil (1m 17.225s) and Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 17.823s) completed the order, with the latter looking set to start his 200th Grand Prix from last place after receiving a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change on his VJM01.