Felipe Massa has conquered the Istanbul Park circuit to claim pole position for tomorrows race. In an exciting third session saw all four top drivers in with a real shout of grabbing the top spot, but a small error from Kimi Raikkonen and a bizarre decision from Fernando Alonso allowed Lewis Hamilton to initial claim pole before the final lap of Massa put everybody else in their places.
The first two sessions were predictably uneventful. The only surprise came from Ralf Schumacher who was knocked out in the first phase after running well on Friday and Saturday morning. The German driver finished his lunchtime running today in eighteenth while team mate Jarno Trulli got through to the final phase and finished in ninth.
Anthony Davidson suggested his great pace as well by putting his Super Aguri out of place towards the top of the timing sheets in ninth for Q1. Unfortunately, the plucky Brit just couldn’t quite manage a top ten place in Q2 and qualified in eleventh.
The third phase saw no shenanigans in the McLaren pit garage, and we almost saw Hamilton take pole. Alas, the final laps from the top four showed that Felipe Massa could keep everything together and put a quick lap together, much to the delight of the engineers and mechanics. Conversely Fernando Alonso wiped out his chances of going for pole when he left his pit box for the final time on hard tyres. With Bridgestone stating that the soft rubber is better over one lap, the decision from McLaren seems a little strange. Fernando ended up putting the silver car in fourth, 0.2s down on his team mate and 0.25s down on Massa.