Lewis Hamilton beats Adrian Sutil to pole (Italian Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil are side-by-side on the front row at Monza
Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil are side-by-side on the front row at Monza

Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil will share the front row of a grid for the Italian Grand Prix tomorrow.

It’s the first time they’ve done so since 2005 at Zandvoort – when the pair were team mates in the F3 Euroseries.

A last-gap effort from Hamilton seized pole position from the Force India driver. Sutil failed to emulate former team mate Fisichella’s pole position at Spa two weeks ago by just two tenths of a second.

Q1

Sutil was fastest in two of the three practice sessions and went into qualifying as favourite to give Force India their second pole position.

With warm temperatures remaining into qualifying, most drivers started the session on the medium compounds tyres instead of the softs.

The last driver to set a time – Hamilton – went quickest, setting a 1’23.375. Behind him were the Brawns of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, following by Vitantonio Liuzzi.

With the lap times extremely close the line between being knocked out and reaching the second session was razor thin. With five minutes reminaing Giancarlo Fisichella in ninth to Mark Webber in 19th were covered by just half a second.

When Hamilton came out of the pits for his second attempt he arrived on-track as Sebastien Buemi was passing by. Hamilton stayed over to the right of the track but Buemi missed the first chicane, taking to the run-off area. There’s been no words from he stewards yet on whether Hamilton will get a penalty.

Buemi had another chance to complete a lap but despite being seven-tenths quicker than team mate Jaime Alguersuari, that only made the difference between last and second-to-last.

A late effort by Nico Rosberg wasn’t enough to get him out of the drop zone – or, indeed, ahead of team mate Kazuki Nakajima. Fellow Toyota user Timo Glock joined them in the bottom five, having been just 0.022s slower than team mate Jarno Trulli.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16. Timo Glock, Toyota – 1’24.036
17. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota – 1’24.074
18. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota – 1’24.121
19. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1’24.220
20. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1’24.961

Q2

Both BMWs made it into the second part of qualifying but neither made it any further. First Nick Heidfeld, then Robert Kubica pulled over with blown engines during the session.

The Mercedes-powered cars continued to lead the way, with Button’s Brawn ahead of Hamilton’s McLaren and Barrichello in the other Brawn.

Fourth and fifth were also taken up with Mercedes-engined cars: Sutil and Liuzzi for Force India, the last jumping out of the drop zone in the dying moments of the session.

That pushed Jarno Trulli down from tenth to 11th, and out of qualifying. With Fisichella stuck in 14th, Liuzzi was the only home driver in the top ten.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11. Jarno Trulli, Toyota – 1’23.611
12. Romain Grosjean, Renault – 1’23.728
13. Robert Kubica, BMW – 1’23.866
14. Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari – 1’23.901
15. Nick Heidfeld, BMW – 1’24.275

Q3

The top ten comprised McLarens, Brawn, Force Indias, Red Bulls, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

Most of them decided only to come out at the end of the session, but none of them beat the early time of 1’24.605 set down by Hamilton with their first attempts. Raikkonen took up second ahead of Sutil.

The final laps were classic qualifying drama – Sutil snatched pole position off Hamilton with his last effort, but lost time with a visible mistake at Lesmo. Hamilton punished him for it, taking pole position back with the last lap of the session, by just two tenths of a second.

Three of the top four cars were KERS-powered, with Raikkonen taking third ahead of Kovalainen. Alonso put his Renault, with KERS re-fitted, in eighth place.

Championship leader Button will start behind his team mate in sixth – but ahead of the Red Bull due of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, who qualified at the tail end of the top ten.

The fuel weights will be posted on F1 Fanatic as they are announced.

Top ten drivers in Q3

1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes – 1’24.066
2. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes – 1’24.261
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari – 1’24.523
4. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes – 1’24.845
5. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes – 1’25.015
6. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes – 1’25.030
7. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India-Mercedes – 1’25.043
8. Fernando Alonso, Renault – 1’25.072
9. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault – 1’25.180
10. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault – 1’25.314

Read more: Italian Grand Prix grid