The field is set for Sunday’s French Grand Prix.
Despite mixed results from Friday and Saturday’s practices at the Magny-Cours circuit, which saw the hometown Renaults quickest on the timesheets, it was the red cars of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa that dominated qualifying.
The pole marks the 200th for such grid slot for the Ferrari team. Surprisingly, the BMW Saubers of championship leader Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld didn’t quite have things figured out, and the team must consider their 6th- and 11th-placed performances somewhat disappointing.
Said Kubica, “It looks like we are having a difficult weekend. The balance of the car is not how I want it to be and my car has a poor overall grip. My goal now is to score as many points as possible in tomorrow’s race, which certainly will not be easy.”
Team principal Mario Theissen added, “Of course we are not happy with the result. We will see after the first pit stops what we can achieve from these positions.”
It’s not all lemons, however. While Lewis Hamilton qualified 3rd in the McLaren, he will be demoted ten slots on Sunday due to his pit lane crash two weeks ago in Canada. And his teammate Heikki Kovalainen is just one spot up on Kubica, which means the BMW man has a good chance of advancing during the race. To reach the Ferraris, he’ll also have to contend with Jarno Trulli in 4th in the Toyota, and Fernando Alonso in the Renault, who moved into 3rd with Hamilton’s penalty. Full results are at www.formula1.com's excellent web site.
Passing can be difficult in France, and Ferrari seems poised to put some serious distance between itself and the competition, so this could really end up a race for third.
FOX will air the race, which is great to introduce the casual fan, but also awful, because FOX has done nothing to promote or advertise it at all on any of the affiliated web sites or local stations. I challenge you to find mention of it.
In the meantime, find it on Sunday and enjoy.