Saturday, May 10, 2008

Turkish GP Qualifying

Turkish Grand Prix - Qualifying Round-Up
Saturday 10 May 2008

(In honor of the recently departed Super last photo of them is posted here for this update)

Today's Weather: Cloudy, air 14-17°C, track 21-32°C

Lewis Hamilton MP4-23 04
Heikki Kovalainen MP4-23 05

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul from second and third on the grid respectively. This is Heikki’s best ever Formula 1 qualifying position. In the third part of Saturday's qualifying, Heikki was second fastest with a 1m27.808, 191 thousandths of a second behind pole position. Lewis followed in third spot with a 1m27.923.

"The two weeks following my accident in Spain have been a little bit like a rollercoaster ride, and I am really happy to start from the front row here in Istanbul. I have felt comfortable in the car since my first lap yesterday, and everything has been running smoothly. In my second run in the third part of qualifying I attacked as much as possible and the lap was absolutely clean which was great. The tyre choice this weekend has been extremely tricky. I am starting from the dirty side of the circuit but don’t think this will be a problem, and we have a good basis for tomorrow's race."

"I am not completely satisfied with third place today, as I think I could have gone a bit faster and also didn’t make the right tyre choice as I was on the harder Bridgestone tyre for my final run. I did a great lap in Q1 and felt the car worked better there than in Q2 which was why I made the tyre decision I did. My final lap wasn’t that great either, so all in all I am a bit disappointed. However looking forward we have a very good technical package and will push hard tomorrow to fight for a good result. I think we are close to Ferrari, but it will be a tough race. As this circuit provides some overtaking opportunities it should be a good one for the spectators and the fans as well.”

Istanbul (TR). For the Turkish Grand Prix both BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers have again made it into the top ten qualifying session. For Robert Kubica this was for the 23rd consecutive time, while for Nick Heidfeld it was the 28th time in a row. In Istanbul Kubica qualified fifth and Heidfeld ninth – therefore the aim of both of them is to pick up positions in the race.

It was a case of mixed fortunes for the ING Renault F1 Team this afternoon as Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet qualified in 7th and 17th places respectively for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix.

After a damp morning the weather improved in time for qualifying, although the cool temperatures continued to give a low-grip surface. Nelson’s qualifying session was short-lived as the Brazilian was unable to progress into Q2 and will start the race from the eighth row of the grid.

Fernando fared better, progressing to the top ten shootout once again, as he confirmed the pace he had shown throughout practice. In a tightly fought session the Spaniard took a well-earned seventh place to leave the team hopeful of fighting for a points finish tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso P7

“Today we made it easily into Q3 and so I will start the race in seventh place, which is more or less where we expected to be, although I think that we could have done a little better. For tomorrow, the start of the race will be vital, but I think that we should be able to fight for some points. It’s important not to forget were we were
just two races ago. We are moving forward, that is for certain.”

Fernando Alonso, R28-02 Nelson Piquet, R28-01
Q1 1:26.836, P9 1:27.568, P17
Q2 1:26.522, P8 N/A
Q3 1:28.422, P7 N/A

Following a frustrating qualifying session at Istanbul Park, the Honda Racing F1 Team will start tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix from the sixth and seventh rows of the grid. Rubens Barrichello will line up in 12th place and Jenson Button 13th, after the pair set lap times less than 0.1s apart.

The weather conditions were slightly warmer for qualifying than they have been so far this weekend, which presented all of the teams with some balance issues. Rubens and Jenson completed two runs each during Q1 in an effort to hone the set-up of their cars. Q1 ran smoothly for the team and in the dying moments Rubens set a best time of 1:27.355s, which placed him 12th on the timesheets and safely through to Q2. Jenson was less than 0.1s slower than his team-mate, but two places further back.

In Q2, Rubens and Jenson completed two flying laps each and both drivers set their fastest times on their second runs. Rubens’ best was a 1:27.219s, which placed him 12th - 0.4s shy of a place in Q3. Jenson switched from the option tyre to the prime to set his fastest time of 1:27.298s, placing him just behind his team-mate and on the clean side of the grid for tomorrow’s 58-lap race.

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