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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pole for Hamilton in Italy

Adrian Sutil has looked fast all weekend, topping the sheets yesterday afternoon and this morning, and he did not disappoint. But it was Lewis Hamilton who snatched pole in the waning moments of qualifying Saturday at Monza.

F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen starts from third in the Ferrari.

Mercedes power definitely seems to be the way to go lately, all six cars in the top ten. The Brawns are on the third row, Rubens Barrichello in fifth and Jenson Button sixth. Hamilton's teammate Heikki Kovalainen starts fourth, and Vitantonio Liuzzi a respectable seventh in his Force India debut.

Brawn GP's Renault-powered opposition, the Red Bulls, are led by Sebastian Vettel and line up ninth and tenth behind the factory Renault of Fernando Alonso.

As for Belgian Grand Prix star Giancarlo Fisichella, he starts 14th in the second Ferrari. One wonders at the mixed feelings the Italian must have, running for the home team in his home race, but watching his ex-teammate fight for the pole.

It was a tough day for BMW Sauber, who had high hopes going into the weekend. Both cars stopped in Q2 with mechanical issues. Tough too for Williams' Nico Rosberg, who saw his string of strong qualifying results come to an end. The German starts 18th.

Jaime Alguersuari receives a five-place penalty for a gearbox change, but it will mean little, the Spaniard qualified last.

The times are tight, and it should be interesting to see how it plays out on this high-speed circuit. Questions abound. Can the KERS boys press their advantage? Can Button turn around a series of disappointing races? Can Red Bull chew up some of his title lead?

Tune in tomorrow.

Grid and pre-race weights
  1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 653.5kg
  2. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 655
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 662
  4. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 683
  5. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 688.5
  6. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 687
  7. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, 679.5
  8. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 677.5
  9. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 682
  10. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 683
  11. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 703
  12. Romain Grosjean, Renault, 699.8
  13. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 697.5
  14. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari, 690
  15. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 697.5
  16. Timo Glock, Toyota, 709.8
  17. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 706.2
  18. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 708.6
  19. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 706
  20. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 706

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