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Massa takes pole as Mclaren's misfortune continues

NEWS STORY
30/06/2007

Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 24 degrees C, while the track temperature is 44 degrees.

While Lewis Hamilton was quickest in this morning's free practice session, his teammate suffered a brake sensor problem which meant he only got two minutes running. This, coupled with the fact that the Englishman suffered a problem in yesterday's first session, appears to indicate the MP4-22 is not entirely bullet-proof.

This, coupled with the fact that Ferrari appears to have rediscovered its early season form, plus what appears to be a come back by Renault, not forgetting BMW of course, gives us reason to believe that we could witness some real battles as the season develops and that McLaren is not going to run away with the title(s).

The lights go green, but it is over two minutes before the first engine fires up. It's Adrian Sutil who gets the session underway. The German is followed by Fisichella, Kovalainen and Albers. Coulthard, Trulli and Sato are not far behind.

Sutil posts the first time of the session, crossing the line at 17.915. Within seconds he is fourth, as Albers, Fisichella and Kovalainen all go quicker.

As Trulli goes second, Hamilton heads down the pitlane.

Rosberg goes quickest in the first sector, however, he can only manage 16.371, which puts him seventh, as Coulthard goes quickest.

All eyes on Hamilton who is quickest in the first two sectors, finally crossing the line at 14.805, putting him quickest by almost a second.

No sign of the Ferraris as Alonso begins his first flying lap. The Spaniard goes quickest in the first sector, but loses ground in the second, having gone wide. At the line it's 15.22, which puts him second ahead of Heidfeld.

Just under five minutes remaining and Massa is quickest in the first sector. He loses a little ground in the second sector but is strong in the third, crossing the line at 15.303 to go second.

Kimi Raikkonen is on track, as Wurz remains well and truly in the 'danger zone'. At the second split the Finn is 0.006s up on Hamilton, finally crossing the line at 14.872 to go second.

With just over two minutes remaining, many of the drivers opt to go out for a final run, with Fisichella, Webber, Barrichello, Wurz, Rosberg and Button all in, or hovering just above, the danger zone.

Fisichella goes eleventh, as Wurz goes sixteenth. Webber posts 15.746 to go sixth as Wurz fails to make the cut, losing out to his German teammate once again.

At the first hurdle we lose Sutil, Albers, Davidson, Sato, Wurz and Liuzzi.

Quickest was Hamilton, ahead of Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso, Kovalainen, Webber, Schumacher, Kubica, Heidfeld and Coulthard.

Both Hondas made the cut but it will be interesting to see how the fare in phase two. Same goes for Fisichella, Trulli and Speed.

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