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European GP: Qualifying notes - Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
23/08/2008

Felipe Massa will start from pole position for Bridgestone's 200th Grand Prix after achieving his fourth pole position of this season by using Bridgestone's super soft compound Potenza to go fastest in qualifying in Valencia for the European Grand Prix, round twelve of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa's lap time – a 1min 38.989secs - was over two tenths of a second quicker than that of championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who was second fastest, also using the super soft tyre. Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen set the third and fourth fastest times.

Heikki Kovalainen was fifth fastest and Sebastian Vettel will start alongside him. Jarno Trulli qualified in seventh with Nick Heidfeld eighth. Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Bourdais were the final two drivers to qualify inside the top ten.

In the morning practice session times were surprisingly close given the new nature of the circuit and the challenges faced. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team) went fastest with a 1min 38.754secs, set on the super soft compound, whilst Rosberg and Bourdais went second and third fastest. Today's fastest lap time, a 1min 37.842secs, was set by Vettel using the super soft compound in Q2.

Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development: Congratulations to Felipe Massa and Ferrari for achieving the first pole position at this exciting new street course in the wonderful city of Valencia. Today's running was very interesting and we have seen the lap times continually improve as the drivers and teams learn the circuit and the track grip levels increased. The top three drivers qualified on the super soft, whilst the fourth fastest driver used the soft, so there is scope for an interesting variety of strategies tomorrow. Congratulations to Toro Rosso for setting today's fastest lap time with Sebastian Vettel and getting both cars into the top ten in qualifying. This is a quick circuit and one that should give us an interesting race tomorrow.

  • To check out our Valencia qualifying gallery, click here
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