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Massa dazzles Singapore with perfect lap for pole

By Ossian Shine
September 27, 2008 22:39 IST
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Ferrari's Felipe Massa dazzled Singapore with a "perfect lap" to snatch pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton for Sunday's first night-time Formula One grand prix, then crossed his fingers for more of the same.

The Brazilian trails McLaren's Hamilton by a single point in the championship with just four races remaining and was thrilled by his performance on the floodlit street circuit.

"First of all the car was just perfect, nice to drive, smooth...and then I managed to drive a perfect lap," the 27-year-old smiled to reporters.

"That was a great achievement. It is just a great feeling, coming into the last corner thinking 'I cannot make any mistake'... I just make corner by corner not making any mistake.

"The feeling is so fantastic when you can take the best of the car, one of the most incredible feelings you can feel as a racing driver," he added.

"Everything went perfectly tonight."

"It is a very important race for Formula One...people are getting very interested in this. In Brazil you wake up to the race, in Europe (it is) at lunchtime. It is a very interesting thing and a very important race in the calendar.

"To win would be a fantastic feeling."

With Hamilton breathing down his neck in the South-East Asian city-state, Massa knows he must reproduce that form on Sunday to take his sixth win of the season.

"You have a lot of bumps do 61 laps is very tough so let's try to make sure tomorrow we have a good pace and good start," he said.

The Brazilian, also on pole in Monaco and Valencia this season, was still clearly comfortable on a layout that is anti-clockwise like his home Interlagos track and the Istanbul circuit where he has won three years in a row.

Hamilton will be hoping Massa has anything but a good start and told reporters it would be all-but impossible to overtake on the 5.067 kilometre circuit.

"You will not be able to overtake out there," the 23-year-old deadpanned. "It is going to be tough. (I will) just have to play it by ear.

"My lap was by no means perfect. Felipe said he did a perfect lap. We are not worried, we are in a very strong position tomorrow. I am happy where I am -- we're looking quite good with our strategy."

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