Lewis Hamilton said he was ecstatic with his first pole position for new team Mercedes after a qualifying session that saw Mark Webber demoted to the back of the grid after a fuel problem left his RB8 without the amount needed for an adequate sample to be taken.
Fernando Alonso staked his claim to a shot at pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix with a lap six tenths of a second clear of the field in the final practice session in Shanghai.
Alonso had spent the early part of the session in the garage as his mechanics made their preparations to his car and he didn’t emerge for his first run on the medium tyre until 25 minutes into the one-hour session.
Massa’s time of 1:35.340, set around the hour mark was sufficient for him to finish FP2 the fastest man at the Shanghai International Circuit. Behind him a mixed order provided very little indication of form. The Lotus of Kimi Räikkönen was second, a tenth down on the Brazilian but three tenths up on the other Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Fourth was this morning’s pace-setter Nico Rosberg for Mercedes, ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber.