By far the most interesting part of qualifying was the electric pace of the two Scuderia Toro Rossos. To go significantly faster than their parent team, STR have embarrassed Red Bull Racing, who languish in fourteenth and seveneenth. Felipe Massa looks strong for a good race and Lewis Hamilton will be hungry after his Hungarian perofrmance. Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen look set to take up supporting roles, but the Finns cannot be ruled out entirely as Valencia stages it’s first grand prix on the new urban circuit.
The 2008 European Grand Prix Grid
Inclusive of penalties given (none yet).
|1||Felipe Massa Ferrari
|Lewis Hamilton McLaren
|3||Robert Kubica BMW
|Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
|5||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren
|Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso
|7||Jarno Trulli Toyota
|Nick Heidfeld BMW
|9||Nico Rosberg Williams
|Sebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso
|11||Kazuki Nakajima Williams
|Fernando Alonso Renault
|13||Timo Glock Toyota
|Mark Webber Red Bull Racing
|15||Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault
|Jenson Button Honda
|17||David Coulthard Red Bull Racing
|Giancarlo Fisichella Force India
|19||Rubens Barrichello Honda
|Adrian Sutil Force India
I have to say perhaps one of the most surprising and darn right enjoyable qualifying sessions this season, as the cars laid down more rubber and the circuit got quicker and quicker.
Back to the topic of the grid. Lewis will have to be very aggressive in turn one to put Massa in to p2. He does have the advantage over Massa in being on the clean side of the circuit, with more grip and thus, a better chance of getting of the line quickly and into lead. No doubt after hungry… Massa will be aggressive too.
I can’t wait.
I haven’t actually seen the track yet – I was at work today and couldn’t watch qualifying. What does T1 actually look like in terms of passing off the grid? And on the note of clean/dirty side, didn’t they change it over? Or have they changed it over so Hamilton is, as you say, now in favour? If that’s the case, Ferrari will be fricking furious. Apologies for sounding off-the-ball, but not seeing qualifying I feel really left out! 🙁
The best corner for overtaking appears to be the final turn – maybe the track should have been run the other way round? (OK, the bridge would have presented a problem, but surely not an insurmountable one). I haven’t heard much about Turn 1 with regard to overtaking, so I guess I’ll have to wait on that one.
The changeover occured before qualifying, so Charlie Whiting didn’t know where anyone was going to be positioned when he made that choice. Time will tell whether he made the right decision.