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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Hamilton eases to pole position in Shanghai

18 Oct 2008
Hamilton eases to pole position in Shanghai

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton looked to be in trouble when his first Q3 qualifying run Shanghai yielded only third place as he got into a big slide in Turn Eight, but he put that right when it mattered to grab pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix with a lap of 1m 36.303s.

That comfortably outpaced the Ferrari of 2007 winner Kimi Raikkonen, who lapped in 1m 36.645s to beat team mate Felipe Massa. The Brazilian recorded 1m 36.889s. Right at the end Fernando Alonso jumped up to fourth for Renault with 1m 36.927s, while early pacesetter Heikki Kovalainen made an error on his second run and had to be content with fifth on 1m 36.930s.

Mark Webber put his Red Bull sixth with 1m 37.083s but drops to 16th because of his engine-change penalty incurred when his Renault V8 blew up in practice this morning. Thus Nick Heidfeld, seventh on 1m 37.201s for BMW Sauber, will start sixth ahead of the Toro Rossos of Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais, and Jarno Trulli's Toyota which split them. They lapped respectively in 1m 37.685s, 1m 37.934s and 1m 38.885s.

Renault's Nelson Piquet was the first to lose out in Q2 with 1m 35.722s but will start 10th ahead of title contender Robert Kubica, who had a disastrous time in the second BMW when 1m 35.814s proved insufficient to get him through to Q3 just when he needed that most.

Timo Glock was 13th overall for Toyota on 1m 35.937s ahead of Honda's Rubens Barrichello (1m 36.079s) and Williams' Nico Rosberg (1m 36.210s). They will start 12th, 13th and 14th as Webber drops. And while David Coulthard was the first of the fallers in Q1, wheeling his Red Bull round in 1m 36.731s ahead of Kazuki Nakajima's Williams (1m 36.863s) and Jenson Button's Honda (1m 37.053s), the Scot will actually start ahead of his Australian team mate.

Right at the back were the Force Indias, with Adrian Sutil again acing team mate Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 37.730s to 1m 37.739s.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Qualifying analysis - can Ferrari race pace halt Hamilton?

Qualifying analysis - can Ferrari race pace halt Hamilton?

Lewis Hamilton made a mess of his first run in Q3 when he got his McLaren into a big slide in Turn Eight, but thereafter the world championship leader got back into the groove to take yet another pole position for what is arguably the most important race of his Formula One career. Once again, the Ferraris were his principal opposition, but the red cars again failed to make such efficient use of their tyres over single-lap runs. In general, the high track temperature led to a significant loss of overall grip, which troubled all of the teams…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 36.135s, P2/1m 36.303s, P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 36.324s, P4/1m 36.930s, P5
Hamilton lost six-tenths of a second with the oversteer he experienced in Turn Eight on his first run, but he made sure of pole position on his second with a lap he described as ‘almost perfect’. Kovalainen was the fastest after the first runs, but a mistake on his second run left him to be content with fifth fastest time.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 36.901s, P13/1m 36.645s, P2
Felipe Massa, 1m 36.842s, P12/1m 36.889s, P3
Neither of the Ferrari drivers looked particularly happy after qualifying, even though their F2008s found a lot of speed in relation to the McLarens. The problem was what it has been all too often this season, getting sufficient heat into the Bridgestone tyres over a single lap. Second and third places on the grid were hardly a handicap, however, and as Fuji showed the red cars will have stronger race pace.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 36.996s, P16/1m 36.927s, P4
Nelson Piquet, 1m 36.789s, P10/1m 35.722s, P11, will start P10
Alonso was very happy with his qualifying session, as yet again he put himself and Renault in contention for a third victory with fourth fastest time. Unlike many other drivers, he felt that changes after practice had improved the R28 and made it easier to drive. Piquet looked strong in the morning, but missed out on Q3 by mere thousandths. He starts tenth, however, after Webber’s engine penalty.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 36.150s, P3/1m 35.814s, P12, will start P11
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 36.061s, P1/1m 37.201s, P7, will start P9
Heidfeld said that seventh overall was the best he could hope for, but Kubica was very unhappy with 12th place just when he needed to keep his slim world championship hope alive with a strong run. The F1.08 had been reasonable in morning practice, but changes to the set-up hurt the balance in qualifying. Worse still he knows he is in for a tough race as the set-up can’t be changed beforehand. After qualifying, Heidfeld was hit with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Coulthard.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 36.396s, P5/1m 37.934s, P9, will start P7
Timo Glock, 1m 37.053s, P17/1m 35.987s, P13, will start P12
Trulli said he was troubled by the relative lack of grip in qualifying, which made it a tough session, while Glock admitted he just didn’t get the most out of the softer Bridgestone tyre when it mattered.

Toro Rosso
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 36.902s, P14/1m 37.685s, P8, will start P6
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 36.642s, P7/1m 38.885s, P10, will start P8
Vettel pulled a good lap out of the bag to qualify eighth, and starts sixth thanks to Webber and Heidfeld’s penalties. The German said he was happy with changes to the set-up of his car after practice. Bourdais had his team mate tucked up most of the way, but ran out of option tyres at the end and could not stay with him when it mattered. He starts eighth.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 37.566s, P18/1m 37.083s, P6, will start P16
David Coulthard, 1m 36.712s, P8/1m 36.731s, P16, will start P15
Webber got through nicely to Q3 and set the sixth fastest time, but his morning engine failure doomed him to a 16th place start. Ironically, that elevated team mate Coulthard once place, the Scot having been first man to miss out on passage into Q2. The Scot was very critical of Heidfeld, whom he claimed overtook him when the German had ended his quick lap and he himself was just about to go into his.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 36.427s, P6/1m 36.210s, P15, will start P14
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 36.713s, P9/1m 36.863s, P17
Both Rosberg and Nakajima were dispirited with their FW30’s performance. Consistent pace proved impossible to come by, as the high-speed corners in sector two continually proved to be problematic.

Honda
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 36.839s, P11/1m 36.079s, P14, will start P13
Jenson Button, 1m 36.958s, P15/1m 37.053s, P18
Barrichello was very pleased with the lap that got him into Q2, and didn’t think he could have done any better with the RA108. Button had been happy with his car’s balance in the morning, but said it went awry as the temperature went up in the afternoon.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 37.648s, P19/1m 37.730s, P19
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 37.964s, P20/1m 37.739s, P20
Both drivers reported a marked loss of grip in qualifying, when their VJM01s slid around and oversteered badly under braking.

David Tremayne
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 07:00 PM
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Yes, but he is surrounded by bad people who wish him harm.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 07:30 PM
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Good Luck Hami. Hope you win.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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If you watched quali on the Speed Channel, the moderators were rating Kubica higher than Massa in regard to driving skills. Interesting.
I am no Alonso fan, but winning two races, and qualifying 4th shows how good a driver he is.
If you consider how much down on power the Renault is to the McLaren or Ferrari, it seems Renault has the best chassis by far.
Imagine someone would drop a McLaren or Ferrari engine into the Renault chassis, the car should be faster than either team.
I hope for a good race.
Cheers
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 01:17 PM
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Kubica is a great driver, its just that I don't think his car is good enough.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 03:01 PM
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They had nothing for Lewis today. Brilliant drive. After the antics of the last few races, and Alonso's incredible drive last week (and luck the week before) today was rather boring. Glad Lewis was able to handle the massive negative sentiment and just flat drive a perfect race.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 05:09 AM
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Yes, but he is surrounded by bad people who wish him harm.

What? The republican party is on the track?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 10:33 AM
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Link to hi-resolution photos and full press release from Team Vodafone McLaren.

Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Race Recap:* Shanghai | eMercedesBenz - The Unofficial Mercedes-Benz Weblog
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