After the final session of qualifying for tomorrows European Grand Prix got underway, it was Kimi Raikkonen who took the top spot after team mate Felipe Massa and reigning world champion Fernando Alonso failed to match the time set by the flying Finn. The interruption to the third phase of qualifying came about after Lewis Hamilton slammed his MP4-22 into the tyre barrier. The rookie driver has been taken to the medical centre for observation while the McLaren team work on the now ugly-looking car.
It is now expected for Lewis to take part in the race, the British driver suffering no broken bones and just feeling a little winded and light-headed. According to reports coming out of Germany, Lewis remained conscious during and after the incident, so hopefully he hasn’t suffered concussion either. Lewis has essentially qualified in tenth, and providing he doesn’t have to use another car, he will be able to start from this position providing he gets the all clear from the doctors. However, if McLaren cannot safely repair the damaged Number Two car and Lewis is forced to use the spare, he will have to start from the pit lane.
So from Kimi Raikkonen is Fernando Alonso with Felipe Massa in third. The BMWs ran well at their home event with second-time father Nick Heidfeld taking fourth from his team mate Robert Kubica who will start alongside in fifth. Mark Webber did extremely well to haul his Red Bull Racng into sixth, his highest qualifying result since moving to Red Bull at the beginning of the season.
Both Toyota’s made it into the third round of qualifying, which shows the improvements are working at the Cologne-based team. Of course, Jarno Trulli out-qualified Ralf Schumacher, going 0.069s faster around the circuit and finishing his afternoon in eighth. Heikki Kovalainen also did well to get his Renault through the knock-out stages, unlike Giancarlo Fisichella who didn’t get past round two. Heikki will start the European Grand Prix from seventh, just behind Australia’s Mark Webber.
Giancarlo Fisichella and Rubens Barrichello will start the race tomorrow in thirteenth and fourteenth respectively, behind he two Williams cars and ahead of the two Super Aguri drivers. Jenson Button couldn’t get passed the first round of qualifying and starts from seventeenth, ahead of the Toro Rosso pair, Scott Speed managing to creep ahead of Vitantonio Liuzzi. David Coulthard languishes down in twentieth, just ahead of the Spyker duo, Adrian Sutil managing to lap the Nurburgring 1.440s faster than his rookie team mate Markus Winkelhock.