Saturday, September 27, 2008

Singapore Grand Prix: Massa snatches pole position

On this historic Grand Prix weekend, Felipe Massa captures pole position for tomorrow's Singapore Grand Prix with a lap of 1:44.801. Massa clearly has assumed the role of team leader in terms of the championship battle and in terms of speed. Massa has placed himself in an ideal position and we will see if Kimi Raikkonen will give Massa a helping hand in terms of dealing with Lewis Hamilton. With Raikkonen qualifying 3rd, right behind Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari can employ some very interesting team strategy particularly if he can get past Hamilton on the open laps.

In terms of points of interest:

1. Sebastien Bourdais. He is not able to buy a break with a car that clearly has some pace. He could not get out of Q1 and has not done well on street circuits this year. Traditionally this circuit type has been his strong suit given the number of races and experience he had while in the Champcar World Series.

2. Attrition. We have seen some reliability and crashes without the much talked about rain. In qualifying we saw Fisichella hit the wall and we saw Alonso's car quit on him with a fuel pressure problem, which was a shame as he had a very strong weekend up to this point. He could have had a top 4 start given the pace he was showing.

3. Kovalainen. After showing some strength, he has continued his solid but non-descript performances in a car that clearly has plenty of speed. We will see how he fairs in the race and if he is heavy on fuel. He was only 13th in Saturday's final practice, so perhaps he was working on heavy fuel loads. He managed to qualify 5th.

Notable performances: Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima of Williams. Traditionally Williams' cars have had very good mechanical grip. Hence, they generally perform well on street circuits where aerodynamics is not so prevalent. So here at Marina Bay circuit, the Williams duo has been strong all weekend and have qualified for the race in 9th and 10th respectively.

No comments: