Sunday, April 8, 2007

Massa takes pole

For anyone who assumed that this season is going to be a two-way race, think again. Though the Constructors' Championship looks for a certainty to be decided between McLaren and Ferrari, the Drivers' equivalent is perhaps a three-way affair, between Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikonnen and Fernando Alonso. McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton - fourth on the grid - may for sure find it tough to stake a claim in his first season, though unexpected things do happen in sport.

After the disappointment in qualifying at Melbourne, Massa bounced back to take pole this time around. Right on his tail are defending champion Alonso and his own team-mate Kimi Raikonnen. Massa, said later at the press conference, " Yes, I'm quite happy. Unfortunately Melbourne didn't end as I had hoped. It ended up that I started at the back but I'm not supposed to start completely last on the grid but here it looks just a little bit different, so I'm just looking forward to having a good race tomorrow."

The disappointment of the day had to be Renault. Both Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovailainen stayed out of the top ten, a worrying sign for Team Principal Flavio Briatore. Renault don't appear to have the car and the talent to take them close to title contention this time around. BMW's Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg in the Williams shored up the top six, with BMW's Robert Kubica in seventh.

The Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher will start eighth and ninth, while Red Bull's Mark Webber is at No. 10. But the action is surely at the top-end of the grid. Kimi Raikonnen's suspect engine managed to make it through qualifying, but will it last the whole race? Also, will Alonso quietly sneak in a win today, upsetting the applecart of the Ferraris?

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