Even though I’ve not written much about Formula 1 this year, it’s been an interesting season. Until a couple of races ago, four drivers could potentially win the championship. Right now the fight is between Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and McLaren-Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. It’s also rather tight in the fight for the third place, with only one point between one of my favorite drivers, Robert Kubica, and Kimi Räikkönen, driving for BMW Sauber and Ferrari respectively.
Not that anything is decided yet, things can change quickly in Formula 1 as we saw last year. This weekend the teams are in Italy for the 2008 Italy Grand Prix and the Monza track, the fastest circuit of the season with a top speed of up to 372 km/h (231 mph)1. Today’s qualifying was an exciting one with a lot of rain and weather that changed faster than the teams could keep up with.
Two times Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso didn’t even manage to get to Q2, while all the top drivers except Massa failed to qualify for Q1. This opened the grid for some of the smaller teams and in the end young German Sebastian Vettel found himself in pole position. The Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes’ pit crews look happy whenever one of their drivers manage to secure the pole, but they are used to it. The scenes in the Toro Rosse pit showed real emotions when they understood what Vettel has managed. To get to Q1 is not something that happens every day for a small team like Toro Rosso and I don’t think they’ve ever had a driver in pole position.
If I were a woman, I probably would have cried a bit.
How long Vettel will manage to stay in P1 during tomorrows race is up for discussion. He’s got Heikki Kovalainen on the grid next to him and Kovalainen’s McLaren-Mercedes would normally beat the STR-Ferrari. But we’ll see. One thing is for sure: With champion wanna-be Hamilton as far back in the grid as P15, Räikkönen on P14, Robert Kubica on P11 and Massa on P6 we will see some seriously entertaining driving tomorrow.
That was with the old V10 engines, the top speed is lower now, I’m not sure of the exact figure. ↩︎
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