Italian GP - Saturday - Qualifying Session Report
One for the Spaniard
Fernando Alonso took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the gap between the two men being just a fraction of a second. The bit news was that the two men were well clear of Ferrari, with Felipe Massa's best lap time being more than half a second slower than the two McLarens. Kimi Raikkonen was in big trouble after his big crash in the morning session and ended up in fifth place on the grid, behind the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld.
Robert Kubica underlined the BMW performance with the sixth best time while Heikki Kovalainen managed to put his Renault into seventh place ahead of Nico Rosberg's Williams. To add a little variety to the top 10 we had Jarno Trulli's Toyota in ninth position and Jenson Button's Honda 10th
Alonso was delighted to be on pole.
"I had a lot of second places this year," he said. "And it is good to be on pole but the race is tomorrow, the points are tomorrow and if we do not do the job tomorrow this is not very important."
Hamilton was always behind Alonso and said that the car was not exactly how he liked it.
"I think for the long runs it is going to be fine," he said, "but for the one qualifying lap it was not how I wanted it to be."
Hamilton admitted that overtaking at Monza is tough but possible but added that it really all depends on who gets into the first corner ahead.
Ferrari seemed muted, which was no surprise given that Raikkonen's crash - which looked like a car failure of some kind - had been a major blow. The team stuck a new chassis on the engine (as they are allowed to do) but the whole process was somewhat rushed and the set-up was not what Kimi wanted. And it showed.
Felipe Massa admitted that any hopes the team might have had of a strong Monza weekend went out of the window when the team saw how quick McLaren was in the Q1 and Q2 sessions. The Brazilian said that it was clear from the way in which the McLarens were able to ride the kerbs showed that the McLarens had a big advantage.
"It is not the first time we have seen this," he said. "We saw it in Canada and we are working to improve the car."
In the Q2 session Mark Webber was knocked out and so will start 11th on the grid ahead of Rubens Barrichello, Alexander Wurz, Anthony Davidson, Giancarlo Fisichella and Sebastian Vettel.
The Q1 session put paid to the chances of Takuma Sato, Ralf Schumacher, Tonio Liuzzi, David Coulthard (who spun off), Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto.