Japan GP - Qualifying session
Mount Fuji, 11th October 2008
K. Raikkonen: 2nd 1.18.644 6 laps chassis 271
Weather: air temperature 20/21 °C, track temperature 21/22 °C, cloudy.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's qualifying performance for the Japanese Grand Prix resulted in one car on the front row and the other on the third. Kimi Raikkonen was second quickest in Q3, with Felipe Massa fifth, having setting the fastest time of the day overall in Q2. "Obviously, we were hoping for a different result, especially given our potential," commented Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva Stefano Domenicali. "It's a shame for Felipe who had been quickest in Q2 before suffering with a lack of grip from the tyres in Q3. Kimi did a good job and managed to get back onto the front row. Tomorrow, we can expect to have to fight our way up to the front, especially given the positions of our closest rivals. It will be a long race in which tyre performance, strategy and the overall team work will, as usual play a decisive role in terms of the final outcome as of course will the need for absolute reliability."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I'm pleased to be back on the front row, even if I'm not totally happy as I always want to be the fastest. On top of that, I'm not completely satisfied with the handling of my car: all weekend we have worked very hard to find the best set-up but we did not get it a hundred percent right. All the same, we have improved our performance, especially with a heavy fuel load. This result means I'm in good shape for the race. Tomorrow, I will try to make the best of the situation. My aim is to finish this season in the best way possible and help the team to win both championships."
Luca Baldisserri: "It was a somewhat contradictory session, both in terms of the final result and of the various performance levels through the field. In the first two sessions, Felipe had shown himself to be very quick and to have found the right balance on the car, while Kimi was struggling a bit. In Q3 the situation was pretty much reversed and specifically, Felipe found his sets of tyres producing inconsistent performance, offering less grip than previously. Hence his fifth place on a grid where the time differences are minimal. For his part, Kimi was more comfortable on the heavy fuel load and managed to do a great lap to get onto the front row. Tomorrow we will be up against very strong opposition and we will do our utmost to get both our cars ahead of them."