Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monza, 2011

Vettel claims tenth pole position of 2011 at Monza

2011 Italian GP qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monza, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monza, 2011

Sebastian Vettel gave Red Bull their first pole position at Monza and continued their domination of qualifying in 2011.

The two McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button start behind him, while Fernando Alonso claimed fourth for Ferrari.

Mark Webber and Felipe Massa share the third row.


Pastor Maldonado had a setback early in qualifying when he spun at the exit of Parabolica. He lost control of the car as he opened his DRS and the Williams knocked the barrier at the inside of the corner, damaging its front wing.

The team inspected the damage, replaced the wing and sent Maldonado out again. He duly made it through into Q2.

His team mate briefly looked as though he wasn’t going to make it through to the next part of qualifying. But a late improvement from Rubens Barrichello meant it was Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso who failed to progress beyond Q1.

The usual six cars were behind him, with Daniel Ricciardo out-qualifying Vitantonio Liuzzi despite having missed much of second and third practice.

Timo Glock, meanwhile, had a dramatic moment when his DRS did not close properly. He avoided a crassh and was inspecting his rear wing in the pits after the session ended.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.334
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’26.647
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’27.184
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’27.591
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’27.609
23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’28.054
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’28.231


As the session began McLaren told Hamilton he would need to do a 1’23.8 to get a place in Q2.

He managed a 1’23.740 on medium tyres while the other front runners did their times on softs. But despite having beaten the target time he felt he couldn’t risk setting a quicker lap on soft tyres.

He duly set a 1’23.172 on softs to take third behind Vettel and Button. But Vitaly Petrov, who had been one-thousandth of a second slower than Hamilton, did not go out again and secured his passage to Q3.

Team mate Bruno Senna joined him with his final lap of the session. A 1’24.157, aided by a tow from Hamilton, put him tenth and knocked out Paul di Resta.

Di Resta joined his team mate plus both Williams and Sauber drivers and Sebastien Buemi in elimination.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’24.183
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’24.209
13 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’24.648
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’24.726
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.845
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.932
17 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’25.065


The Ferraris led the cars out at the start of Q3 and Fernando Alonso briefly headed the times.

But within a few moments he was demoted first by Button and then Vettel. Vettel went straight into a second lap where he looked set to go faster, before a ragged moment at the exit of Lesmo 2 and a dramatic slide through Ascari.

Alonso made it up to fourth with his last effort, using a tow from his team mate to pick up speed in the first sector.

Neither McLaren driver improved their times with their final run, Hamilton losing time at the della Roggia and aborting his run, Button quitting into the pits at the end of his lap.

With Webber, whose KERS was only working intermittently, unable to better fifth place there was no need for Vettel to improve his time. But he did anyway: a flying lap of 1’22.275 put him almost half a second clear of Hamilton.

Michael Schumacher out-qualified Nico Rosberg, the latter choosing to qualify on medium tyres. Bruno Senna, meanwhile, did not set a time.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.275
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.725
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.777
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’22.841
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’22.972
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’23.188
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’23.530
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’23.777
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’24.477
10 Bruno Senna Renault

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193 comments on “Vettel claims tenth pole position of 2011 at Monza”

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  1. Another KERS problem for Webber? How’s that possible…

    1. themagicofspeed (@)
      10th September 2011, 16:26

      I know. As David Coulthard said so fittingly, if he (Webber) didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all. I really feel for him, he seems to get nothing but bad luck!

      1. Maybe, they should put Tom Cruise in webber’s seat :)

        1. It’s been some time I have this theory: Mark Webber is doning testing for the future races. in other words, Webber is developing the new car and Vettel gets to drive it. :)

      2. Vettel had to stay out a lap longer to cool his kers-unit aswell. He could’ve been in trouble just as easily.

  2. Newie- so take it easy

    In my opinion i think more needs to be seen of Vettel’s true strength. While I in no way detract from his absolutely great poles and great wins, I think it’s yet to be seen exactly how he fairs in a bad situation such as starting from the mid field or even the back. We havent really had to see him fight to get to the top in a rac unlike his main competitors Hamilton, Alonso, Button and even Webber to some extent. Hes mostly ridden the Bull from the front of the field.

    He is fast, don’t get me wrong. But what if all the cars were the same as in some of the lower series? Would he really be so far up front? Actually I wonder how the whole field would look.

    What do you guys think?

    As for Monza, we all know that Lewis clearly has a launch control button on his dash for the lightening starts he makes but lately his gps is working as well as my iPhone. So tomorrow I think if he does the job right he could jump Seb but with Button and his super creeping ability behind him it’s going to be interesting to see if Vettel can hold both of them off.

    1. well hes better than any of the other drivers from starting in a top car, so he will probably be better then other drivers if he starts in the midfield. he is young and still developing, in the last race at spa he did great race moves on alonso and rosberg. he has also just made a record, the first driver to get 10 poles in 2 seasons in f1. if that isnt enought proof for you that he is a fast f1 driver, then i dont know what is, maybe 2 f1 championships at 24 years of age.

    2. I think it’s yet to be seen exactly how he fairs in a bad situation such as starting from the mid field or even the back.

      The last time Vettel screwed up in quali to start at the back was Brazil 09, where he still came 4th. He also gained many a place from starting position in 07 and 08. If Button keeps screwing up qualifying and Webber keeps falling into the midfield with his starts, they’re showing weakness, by having to gain places they should have had anyway.

      I’d anticipate Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Rosberg to be the best given equal cars.

      1. And yet it is Mark Webber that has beaten SV in an equal car!

        1. Wow, Mark beat Sebastian once in 12 races. He’s automatically as good!

          1. However, if you meant “NR” then fair enough although I think he’s improved a lot since his rookie year.

          2. No David, I meant only that because on occasions Mark has beaten Seb. in equal machinery the difference between them cannot be all that great, and until we see Rosberg, Button and Hamilton race Webber in the same machinery our opinions are subjective.

      2. To be fair, in Germany he went backwards and in China couldn’t get ahead in the first stint until Hamilton’s tryes went off and Button parked in his box by mistake. Bear in mind also in 09 fuel strategies were still possible, both he, Hamilton and Button ended up in 3rd-5th from similar positions. Don’t want to put Vettel down too much but his one weakness does seem to be when he gets stuck, he’s not as good as Hamilton and Alonso – which is pretty ominous if that’s his only weakness, because it’s not even a very big one either.

        1. Well it is also a lot harder to overtake when you are a lot slower then the others on the straights. Nearly all overtaking opportunities comes from a long straight into a hard breaking zone, where the RB is rubbish to say the least. When you have a car that drives like that you are very dependent on getting into clear air and just gunning it through the high speed corners to jump the others through the pit stops or for the others to make mistakes of cause.

  3. themagicofspeed (@)
    10th September 2011, 16:13

    i wish that for once something other than a red bull was on pole. i really think i’d have a heart attack if that happened. it was a good lap though, even if it was by a driver i cannot stand.

    if i were Ferrari, i’d not bother sending the cars to race tomorrow, i’d either have a party about something (don’t know what, this season they have very little to celebrate), or i’d pack up the cars and enjoy the drive home to maranello, it seems an awful waste of fuel, tyres and driver’s effort if nothing else. 4th + 6th at Monza, is a huge dissapointment. Made me laugh when LDM waved at the tfosi in the stands – and got no reaction.

    Im a Ferrari fan for sure, but every year since 2008 i find myself in total despair, with the exception of last year, when an idiotic strategy and an ignorant rookie driver ruined everything at the last hurdle, they slide backwards every season.

    1. an ignorant rookie driver

      If that’s Vitaly Petrov you’re whingeing about, I’ve got news for you: he did nothing wrong.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        10th September 2011, 16:22

        Ah, it is. i couldn’t beleive FA lost the championship because he was in the way, it makes me so, so peed off. One day i’ll forget about it, but i dont think that’s yet lol. I just absoloutley cannot abide Petrov for costing Alonso the championship.

        1. Sadly, it’s only Massa who’s required to get out of the way for Alonso. If anyone else is “in the way,” he’s obliged to do his best to overtake them.

        2. spoken like a true tifosi!

          1. Lets not generalize. That’s ignorant.

        3. If he’d pulled over and let Alonso past it would be pathetic and he wouldn’t deserve a place in a kart race, never mind on an F1 track. Get off his back.

          1. themagicofspeed (@)
            10th September 2011, 16:41

            I don’t see why, as a virtual nobody, he would want to get involved in the championship fight, thats all. Martin Brundle has said it a few times, that he doesnt understand rookies or backmarkers holding up the front runners and interfering with the championship fight.

            I didn’t expect him to just let him past. I didnt expect him to be so difficult to pass either, so at the time i was pretty miffed at Alonso too

          2. @themagicofspeed
            He didn’t get involved in the championship. Alonso got involved in Petrov’s race. If Petrov got involved in the championship it would be if he had let Alonso through. That would create trouble. The drivers have to go flat out at every race of the season, whether it is the first or the last, if the championship depends on it or not. They should always try to keep their track position. Racing drivers are hired to race, whether they race for the championship title or 5th, don’t matter. If they fight for track position they fight for track position. No racing driver with some sort of respect for him self would pull out of the way for a driver from another team.

          3. a virtual nobody,

            Silly patronising language. He is not a “nobody” just because he isn’t in a front-running car. Everyone has to start somewhere. Alonso himself drove for Minardi.

            he would want to get involved in the championship fight

            Because it’s not just a championship fight, it’s a race, and it’s his job to get the best result he can. Letting Ferraris past for no reason is not going to accomplish that.

            I didn’t expect him to just let him past.

            So don’t direct your frustration at him, then.

          4. themagicofspeed – doesn’t everyone start of as a nobody, often in a run down team?

            Petrov was keeping Alonso behind fine, he did the same in Turkey for a long time and this year he proved he is good at defending his place as well.

            And getting into Q3 regularly as well as having been on the podium already in a less than 2 season career certainly is something quite some drivers have never even got close to.

        4. Petrov didn’t cost Alonso the championship. Petrov had the right to run his race and besides one race doesn’t make a championship. Alonso shouldn’t have crashed in Aus and Monaco, he shouldn’t have jumped the start at China or if Ferrari hadn’t slumped during Spain-Turkey then that could have won him the championship too. Petrov did everything right while Ferrari blew their strategy by focussing on Mark when they should have been watching Seb. Even if Fernando had passed Petrov he’d still have had to pass Rosberg.

        5. ‘costing’ Alonso the championship? The championship was up there for the grab. That’s like Hamilton telling Vettel this year ‘common man, you’re costing me the championship’. If Alonso wanted it, he should’ve overtaken Petrov. Petrov did nothing wrong.

        6. Magic of speed, let me help you get over it, many times last year Mark Webber was held up by a midfield car and driver, in fact I seem to remember Ruebens doing a damm good job of it in the same race you are fixated on. Takeaway the unpassable midfielders and Webber may have won the championship ,not Alonso or Vettel, that’s racing.

    2. That would be cowardly to go home just because they are not on pole. From the very few things i respect Ferrari for the most important is that they keep going, even when it gets tough. They don’t go all BMW and run away when the going gets rough.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        10th September 2011, 16:44

        I’d rather see them not bothering with the last half of this season, which it is now near certainly impossible to win, and for the whole team to get back to Maranello, and build a car for 2012 that will make RBR and McLaren and all the rest look like amateurs. A bit like what Brawn did in 2009, the 2008 car was abandoned before mid season and they concentrated 100% on what would become the BGP-001. In fact, Ferrari have recently shifted their focus to 2012, but if they concentrate 100% on it imagine what sort of a car they could make :)

        1. Yes that would really help the drivers. To be out of the car for half a year is really good for them. Or….
          The more experience they all can get the better. Both the strategists, the mechanics and the drivers.

          The designers can focus 100% on next year car without stopping racing this years car.
          There is no guarantee that just because they bail out now they will be successful next year. And if they don’t race, they make no money, they learn nothing and in the end RB and McLaren will only benefit from that.

          1. themagicofspeed (@)
            10th September 2011, 21:27

            i get your point. if i was stefano, i would send only the most vital technical staff/designers to the races for the remainder of the season, work on this year’s car totally abandoned and have the entire factory, and the Gestione Sportiva (‘Racing Department’) focus on 2012. Fernando and Felipe can, as you wisely said, keep ‘sharp’ by racing, the team makes money, the team can get in pit stop practice, practice new approaches to strategy, etc. I’d rather they made all the mistakes now, when it doesnt make a difference if they finish 5th or 24th, and concentrate on getting it right next year.

            you do make a wise point in that RBR/McLaren would benefit, and trust me i would rather die than that happen.

          2. As far as I remember, Ferrari had started an early 2010 car development back in 2009 which at first looked threatening in testing but turned out not better than RBR nor Mclaren by a large margin except in reliability. So an early development and focus on the next season does not guarantee Ferrari nor Ferrari fans stronger car than others. RBR is surely doing the same if not more just they are not too loud about it and nobody care since they’re dominating.

        2. Yes car like this years Merc.

  4. There should be a limit of period where an engineer, aerodynamics/technical director and blabla (A. Newey and the other expensive guy in Red Bull team) can stay in one team. And move to another team when the period is over.
    2 years/seasons would be great.

    1. themagicofspeed (@)
      10th September 2011, 16:24


    2. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to decide who they work for anymore? It is not like the designers are randomly drawn from a hat and then nailed to a chair in whatever team they land in.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        10th September 2011, 16:30

        To stop boring periods of uber-dominance.

        5 years of Schumacher + Ferrari – boring.
        2 years of Alonso / Renault – just about acceptable, cause both times ALO did have to fight for it, and hard;
        2011 – The most boring season since 2004 imo. Its that same ‘stale old bread’ feeling from 2004 where Schumacher just turned up, won and went home.

        Imagine how interesting things would get if Newey had to design the next two HRTS?

        1. Newey isn’t solely responsible for Red Bull’s succes, they simply have a great team of engineers. Newey spent five years at Mclaren without winning any championship at all before he joined Red Bull and before the rules changed.

          1. themagicofspeed (@)
            10th September 2011, 16:50

            I assume that under dam00r’s suggestion, the top few engineers would follow him.

            Despite that fantasy, the old saying still applies, “if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd”.. i dont think just a few top designers can make a slow team quick.

            Before Newey & Co, Red Bull were average at best. It took him a couple of seasons to build them up to where they are now.

          2. @andrewf1 Newey of course won championships for Mclaren. The 2 championships mika Hakkinen won were cars designed by newey. for record newey designed cars won championships for 3 teams. Williams, Mclaren and red bull. The only person today who has achieved this is Ross brawn with benetton Renault, Ferrari and brawn gp. Brawn does have a chance to beat newey’s record if Mercedes can pull it off under him in some near future.

        2. Yeah but how contrived and fake is that?
          I thought DRS was bad, swapping team staff around for the excitement of the championships is on a whole different planet!

          It might be boring but it is still a sport. F1 would die if we started penalizing the best guys in the sport because the others can’t keep up.
          Would you also want Usain Bolt to run around with led shoes just to make it close? Or Messi to play football with his shoelaces tied together?

          If Newey were to build the next HRT we would have to wait like 10 years before they would start getting remotely competitive. It took RB 4 years to win their first race and they had an established team, windtunnel, driver lineup etc. from day one. HRT has just about nothing of that, the car would stay a dreary backmarker for years. It might improve more, but it wouldn’t be able to set the world on fire.

          F1 looks enough like a circus at times, lets not turn it into a Hollywood film.

          1. Newey has a greater platform to work from than the HRT is right now. He now knows what makes a car superior.

          2. @dam00r Yes but not when the design team don’t really exist. And even if he could make them champions that wouldn’t make the concept less contrived would it?

        3. F1 teams turn up to win. If Red Bull are doing the best job, then good for them. The others would need to get off their @rses and catch up, rather than push through nonsense staff regs, like those suggested above.

  5. I think we should expect slow McLarens for the first period of the race and fast McLarens at the end.

    I reckon that they are betting on their drivers overtaking abilities. I haven’t seen the speed traps for Quali but I’m going to take a punt that Red Bull were quite a bit quicker than McLaren down the straights.

    I think we are going to see that with wings closed all the way around the track and mid/light fuel the Mclaren is going to be quite a bit quicker around the lap due to the DRS gearing and aero balance. The weakness for them is going to be overtaking will be difficult as they won’t have the top speed advantage even with the wing fully open but if you look at how the track works it should be OK.

    The Bull was a lot quicker in the last section of the lap, I think this was down to top speed down the long straight, this won’t happen in the race because they won’t be able to open DRS and will struggle to hit their limiter and I think that the McLaren gearing is going to work better with mid/low fuel and the closed wings. As long as they can hang on to the bull along the straight and close up through Parabolica they should be able to easily hang on down the main straight with DRS open (but without the massive advantage due to their gearing so probably can’t just sail past) and then use the superior downforce to brake later into the first corner. The second DRS zone is a much harder overtake and if, as I think, their lap pace will be faster at this point of the race they should be able to scurry away before the bull gets a chance to re-pass.

    As long as Lewis doesn’t get annoyed at being so slow at the beginning that is!

    1. Vettel’s RB had the slowest car on the straight of all the 24 cars in practice. I think their advantage in S3 is that they are very quick through Ascari and Parabolica.
      RB had a very small rear wing so they are going to benefit less from the DRS then what McLaren could, so that would mean that RB has a more race orientated setup where they can’t use the DRS everywhere.

      1. I noticed Vettle was very slow in practice on the straight (actually Mark was quite a bit quicker than the McLarens)but I would like to see the quali speed traps to confirm that.

        I can see what you mean with the rear wings but I’m still believing that the rear wing to gear ratio may play to McLarens advantage during the race. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there are so many different ways of extracting speed from cars with different compromises this year, it’s very difficult to see what people are doing… I’m sticking by my analysis though – we shall see what happens tomorrow!

        1. Actually, never mind just saw the speed trap data… That bleedin’ bull is fast through corners with no wing… That’s just depressing

  6. It’s interesting that you think Lewis makes better starts than Vettel on average. I’ve seen Lewis blown a few this year. If anything, the more likely question to be asked if Lewis can keep Button behind.

    Nevertheless, Good Job Vettel! While everyone keeps making mistakes you just keep coming out on top. There is something to be said about that.

    1. If Webber could start like Massa ?

  7. themagicofspeed (@)
    10th September 2011, 21:32

    Lewis, and Vettel, are brilliant when it comes to putting in a warp speed lap (particularly Vettel). The difference between these two though, is that Vettel keeps a cool head (most of the time – Canada) and still laps at warp speed regardless of whats going on elsewhere. Lewis is quick when you tell him something he likes, if you annoy/upset/distract/try to pass/block him, he caves in and mistakes soon follow, such as in Spa.

    1. Giving you something interesting to watch while you wait for the Ferraris to come around.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        10th September 2011, 22:25

        sadly that’s only too true. more than likely it will be massa, and he will ask you if you would like to pass him.

        1. I was hoping to cheer you up.

  8. themagicofspeed (@)
    10th September 2011, 22:30

    Despite being a smug prat, Vettel can run rings around Hamilton, Alonso, and Button most of the time, usually all at the same time, while cruising along thinking what to have for tea. He’s the only driver atm who is capable of repeating the Schumacher dominance, but thats definitley not a good thing i think.

  9. I ruddy well forgot to do my predictions this weekend, damn & blast!

  10. This have to be one of the best quali performance from Vettel,I said that he won’t make it but he did awesome.Good work both the Mclaren drivers & watch out for Nico he is the only official one who will start the race on Medium he will have a different strategy then others.Senna too is there but need to capitalize on the race as well.

  11. Initially I though Maldonado was damage free so I’m glad that’s been cleared up. Seeing his spin was very exciting!

    Great stuff from Ricciardo and nice to see Trulli ahead of Kovalainen on his home turf.

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