Q1: Coulthard first out, having two off-track excursions onto the grass before reporting the car crabbing under braking. He returns to the pits after just two laps.
Kovalainen goes off at turn four, carrying too much speed into the corner and hopping over a curb, hitting the concrete wall with the rear of the car, losing his rear wing and damaging a rear wheel. With 8:58 on the clock in Q1, we have a red flag situation.
Q1 restarts, with both Hondas and a lively looking Massa going out first. Meanwhile the Renault mechanics attempt to repair Kovalainen’s car, while the Red Bull team examine the front left wheel of Coulthard’s car.
Massa sets the early pace beating Fisichella’s 1:17.860 with a 1:17.236, moments later Alonso sets a 1.16:652. Heidfeld takes to the grass as Hamilton goes second, while Raikkonen sets a 1:16.756 securing third. Coulthard emerges only to be pushed back into his garage.
Raikkonen sets a 1:16.468 for Ferrari. Coulthard and Kovalainen rejoin as Sato moves into ninth. DC skips the final chicane and goes for a second lap and qualifies thirteenth. Kovalainen fails to advance, and will start from nineteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
17. A. Davidson
18. R. Schumacher
19. H. Kovalainen
20. A. Wurz
21. A. Sutil
22. C. Albers
Q2: Once again Coulthard is the first to join the track, on super-soft compound tyres – immediately running on the grass during his quick lap.
Trulli sets the initial pace ith a 1:16.935. Webber sets a time of 1:16.257 as Sato runs onto the grass at the chicane at turn 8. Hamilton sets a time of 1:15.486 with Massa setting a 1:16.1 for second, only for Alonso to split the two.
Coulthard fails to progress into the final session, Heidfeld goes third in the dieing moments of the session after his previous time was deleted after skipping the final chicane. The young German gave it his all to set a time, touching the Wall of Champions on his charge to the line.
11. T. Sato
12. V. Liuzzi
13. R. Barrichello
14. D. Coulthard
15. J. Button
16. S. Speed
Q3: Lewis leads the final ten drivers out, only for Raikkonen to pass him on the pit straight. BMWs show form, with Heidfeld setting early pace. Rosberg runs wide in turn eight while Hamilton goes fastest, for only Heidfeld to better it.
With eight minutes to go Hamilton sets a time of 1:17.540 ahead of Heidfeld and Raikkonen.
Four minutes to go and Webber goes fastest. Hamilton goes 1:16.316, with Alonso beating it with a 1:15.562.
Three minutes to go and the standings are:
In the dieing seconds, Hamilton sets a time of 1:15.707 securing pole. Heidfeld pushes Raikkonen down to fourth. Alonso takes second, Massa fifth. A brilliant maiden pole for Hamilton, on a track completely new to him.
1. L. Hamilton
2. F. Alonso
3. N. Heidfeld
4. K. Raikkonen
5. F. Massa
6. M. Webber
7. N. Rosberg
8. R. Kubica
9. G. Fisichella
10. J. Trulli