Qualifying and Preview : Brazilian Grand Prix 2008

SAKHIR, BAHRAIN - APRIL 15:  Felipe Massa of B...
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An interesting qualifying line-up presages Lewis Hamilton‘s bid to become the youngest Formula One World Champion in history. The McLaren driver has none of it his own way, starting from 4th as local boy Felipe Massa took pole position for Ferrari. Jarno Trulli drove his Toyota brilliantly into 2nd place, with perennially overcast Ferrari champion, Kimi Raikkonen, in 3rd.

Lewis has team-mate Kovalainen in the row behind – hopefully Heikki can help guard his rear. More worrying is the menacing presence of Fernando Alonso on his backside – still my tip to t-bone the Brit out of the race and deny him the championship. Indeed, the more the Renault ace says nice things in the press about Lewis – and he has upped the flattery this week – the more my paranoia shoots up in this regard !

Grid location may not be ideal but assuming Lewis can keep his nerve and position then the Championship is his. Much can happen tomorrow, though. Qualifying tactics suggest the McLarens are fuelled heavy compared to the Toyotas and Ferraris. Rain also threatens. Could Hamilton and Kovalainen be trying a one stopper on this 73 lap race ? Unlikely but with rain forecast for tomorrow, race strategy may again have a bigger role than mere fortune in deciding the result. With a heavier load, perhaps we can relax – Lewis is less likely to try and storm the start to take the lead; a totally unnecessary move which, on past performance, could prove fatal.

To the maths, then. Its a two-horse race between Lewis Hamilton and Felippe Massa. Lewis needs 5th or better regardless of what Massa does – 4 points takes the Brit to an unassailable 98. If Lewis is taken out, has engine trouble or otherwise fluffs it for ‘nil point’ then Felipe needs 1st or 2nd to take the Championship – hence the smart move for the Ferrari driver to take pole in qualifying and maintain the lead throughout the race. That has to be the Brazilian’s aim.

Interlagos is one of my favourite circuits, yet the first corner has been the graveyard of many a championship hope. With the Toyotas competitive, Renault’s Alonso on fire, and with Lewis not making too many friends, this Grand Prix is promising to be the most gripping climax to a Formula One season since, well, last year 🙂

Regardless …….. GO LEWIS !!

Qualifying / Grid Positions for the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix :

1. MASSA Ferrari
2. TRULLI Toyota
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari
6. ALONSO Renault
7. VETTEL Toro Rosso
9. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso
10. GLOCK Toyota
11. PIQUET Renault
12. WEBBER Red Bull
14. COULTHARD Red Bull
16. NAKAJIMA Williams
17. BUTTON Honda
18. ROSBERG Williams
19. FISICHELLA Force India
20. SUTIL Force India

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1 Comment

SPIRITDecember 18th, 2008 at 6:44 am

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