Felipe Massa has stolen the front row away from Lewis Hamilton with an immensely fast lap around the Autodromo Carlos Pace, concluding the final qualifying session of the 2007 season. With a supreme 1m11.931s, Massa is clearly running a little light and will likely pit first tomorrow. Lewis Hamilton did a fine job to finish his day in second, his final tour of Interlagos today showing the world just what a determined driver he is. Fernando Alonso appeared to suffer from tyre issues during the final stint, one set coming off his McLaren looking particularly worn. Alonso could only muster a fourth, failing to get past Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn will start tomorrow’s race looking directly at the rear of his team mates wing.
Mark Webber muscled his Red Bull into fifth, a fine performance from the Australian especially good in comparison to his team mate. David Coulthard could only manage ninth, struggling with his RBR3. The BMWs appear to have lost ground to their rivals as the season has drawn to a close, much of the gap between them and Toyota and Red Bull narrowing. Robert Kubica – wearing a different helmet for this event – completed the seventh fastest lap, just one tenth behind his team mate in sixth.
Nico Rosberg rounds out the top ten in his Williams, although the German had a far better day than his partner, debuting Kuzuki Nakajima, who will start the race from nineteenth. Another team who are split are Honda, a team that must be desperate to turn their back on the 2007 campaign and work towards 2008. Rubens Barrichello managed to get his car in to eleventh, but Jenson Button struggled back in sixteenth.
The only good thing to come out of this is that this is the last time I have to qualify this car. I don’t know how Rubens is getting more from the car, but good for him. Jenson Button.
Scuderia Toro Rosso qualified close to one another, Sebastian Vettel getting the better of Vitantonio Liuzzi. Vettel starts in thirteenth with Liuzzi in fourteenth. Ralf Schumacher continues to struggle despite going well on Friday. Fifteenth was all the German could manage, still insisting he will be driving in F1 next year.
Super Aguri and Spyker once again hog the back rows, only Nakajima in the Williams splitting up the party.