assa clinched his sixth pole position for the season, and his third consecutive pole at Interlagos, with a time of 1:12.368. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Trulli, in his best qualifying performance of the season. Räikkönen qualified third, though he was happy with beginning the race on the racing line behind his team-mate. Hamilton qualified fourth, half a second behind Massa, having battled both Ferrari drivers for time during the first two qualifying sessions. Hamilton's slow pace in the final qualifying session compared to the first two suggested he was carrying more fuel than his title challengers. Hamilton's team-mate Kovalainen qualified fifth. Alonso, Vettel, Heidfeld, Sébastien Bourdais and Timo Glock rounded out the top ten. Kubica only managed 13th, having struggled with overall grip for much of the day. Coulthard, in his final Formula One race, qualified 14th; Rubens Barrichello, in 15th, was quicker than Honda team-mate Jenson Button in 17th. The Williams and Force India drivers qualified at the back of the grid, covering positions 16 to 20 with Button.
Grand Prix winner Felipe Massa.
The conditions on the grid were damp before the race, the air temperature at 28 °C (82 °F); rain or thunderstorms were expected. The race was due to begin at 15:00 local time (UTC-2), but was delayed by ten minutes when heavy rain hit the track at 14:56. Every team but one changed the tyres on both their cars from dry-weather tyres to intermediate tyres. Kubica's car was the exception, remaining on the dry set-up. Following the formation lap, Kubica returned to the pits, his team changing the car's tyres to intermediates. This meant the Polish driver would start the race from the pit-lane.
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