Fernando Alonso takes his first pole position as a Ferrari driver at the Italian team’s home race at Monza. It has been two years since the Scuderia started from the front and this result is a great achievement for the Spaniard, the team and especially for the passionate tifosi.
Felipe Massa could not quite make it an all-Ferrari front row, but will start in third, with Jenson Button’s McLaren splitting the red cars. It’s interesting that Button has opted the F-duct system while team-mate Lewis Hamilton decided to go without in a hope for better straight-line speed. The differences between the pair is 12kph, without the aid of the F-duct but meaning loss of stability under braking.
For Red Bull Racing, this was the worst qualifying performance of the season, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel back in an unaccustomed fourth and sixth.
As for the championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who has decided to run without the F-duct system, the McLaren driver could only manage fifth.
Seventh went to Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg, while his team-mate Michael Schumacher had another mediocre qualifying run and will start in a disappointing P12.
It was a solid performance for Williams with Nico Hulkenberg taking eighth and Rubens Barrichello only two places behind, split by Renault’s Robert Kubica.
In the battle between the new Formula One teams, Lotus and Virgin Racing were evenly matched throughout the qualifying session before some strong last laps earned Jarno Trulli the so-called ‘division two pole’ in P18.
Qualifying times from Monza:
1. Alonso Ferrari 1:21.962
2. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.084
3. Massa Ferrari 1:22.293
4. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:22.433
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.623
6. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:22.675
7. Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.027
8. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:23.037
9. Kubica Renault 1:23.039
10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:23.328
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:23.199
12. Schumacher Mercedes 1:23.388
13. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:23.659
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.681
15. Petrov Renault 1:23.819
16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.919
17. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.044
18. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:25.540
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:25.742
20. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:25.774
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.934
22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.974
23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:26.847
24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:27.020