2007 Turkish Grand Prix: Qualifying

Qualifying for the 2007 Formula 1 Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix starts under sunny skies in Istanbul Park, with a track temperature of 49 and air temperature of 35 degrees. This qualifying session should see an almighty battle between the McLaren and Ferrari teams.

Q1

Sato is the first driver to join the circuit, with unusually, a number of drivers deciding to take to the track right from the start of the session. Sato aborts his first flying lap. Ralf Schumacher sets a time to go second behind the Williams of Wurz.

With eight minutes remaining, Massa and Alonso have yet to take to the track with most drivers having already left the pits on the harder compound tyre. Yamamoto spins his Super Aguri at Turn Ten as he attempts to improve his time of 1:31.479. Ralf Schumacher falls foul to the final run of the session, finishing eighteenth as he continues to struggle this season.

Drivers knocked out:

17. V. Liuzzi
18. R. Schumacher
19. T. Sato
20. S. Vettel
21. A. Sutil
22. S. Yamamoto

Q2

Raikkonen sets the first competitive time of 1:26.902, three tenths faster than any other time set during the weekend so far. Hamilton and Massa set similar times but fail to overturn the Finn. Alonso, with 4:47 remaining on the clock sets a faster time of 1:26.841 to underline the speed of the McLaren round this circuit. The BMW Saubers set identical times, lining up fifth and sixth on a 1:27.253. During the dieing moments of qualifying, Anthony Davidson put his car in eighth, only to be pushed back in eleventh by the close. The Brit drove his car beyond its limit much to the pleasure of the fans.

Drivers knocked out:

11. A. Davidson
12. M. Webber
13. D. Coulthard
14. R. Barrichello
15. J. Button
16. A. Wurz

Q3:

Raikkonen leads the other nine cars out for the third and final qualifying session. Trulli, with eights minutes remaining, is the first to pit for tyres in which to set his first flying lap, suggesting the Italian is on a low fuel load. However it s Raikkonen who sets the first competitive time of 1:27.546, only to be beaten by Massa on a 1:27.520. Alonso and Hamilton set times fast enough to sit in third and fourth behind the Ferraris. With three minutes remaining all will go again. Alonso is delayed in his pit giving the Spaniard just 1:40.00 to complete his out lap on harder compound tyres.

Raikkonen makes a mistake through the penultimate corner losing a tenth and fails to improve. Hamilton goes fastest, only for Massa to grab pole on a 1:27.329. Alonso finishes fourth ahead of the BMWs of Kubica and Heidfeld.

Provisional top ten for tomorrow s Turkish Grand Prix:

1. F. Massa
2. L. Hamilton
3. K. Raikkonen
4. F. Alonso
5. R. Kubica
6. N. Heidfeld
7. H. Kovalainen
8. N. Rosberg
9. J. Trulli
10. G. Fisichella