Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hamilton Blazes to Monza Pole for McLaren

Photo Credit: Pirelli

Last week's 2012 Formula 1 tour returned to action at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after a in-season long hiatus. However, only one week separated to Belgian Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix weekends at another famed race course. A 5.793-kilometer Monza race course with a historic linage in Formula 1, the high-speed circuit is one track where teams trim out their race vehicles for minimal downforce.

A week after his McLaren F1 Racing teammate Jenson Button commanded the Belgian Grand Prix with a pole and flag-to-flag victory, Lewis Hamilton grabbed the top spot in Italy ith a 1-minute, 24.010-second lap in Q3 time trials. Hamilton is eager to turn around misfortunes of last year that concluded with an early exit from the Belgian Grand Prix after getting caught up in the first corner wreck in Belgium. Related to that incident, Lotus F1 Team's Romain Grosjean has been suspended for the Italian Grand Prix replaced by the team's third driver Jerome d'Ambrosio. Just over a tenth of a second slower than Lewis Hamilton in qualifying, Jenson Button produced an all-McLaren front row for the Italian Grand Prix.

While a Scuderia Ferrari car on the second row of a 2012 Formula 1 race grid is not an unfamiliar sight, previous events in the season would have the name of current drivers championship points leader Fernando Alonso mentioned. However, in a first time feat in 2012, Brazil's Felipe Massa will hold the top position for Ferrari in front of his teammate. Alonso's Ferrari starts in 10th place at the Monza circuit.

In fourth place for the start of the Italian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher drove his Mercedes GP car to an almost 0.26 second gap over Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull Racing entry. Despite turning over 20 laps a piece, the Red Bull-Renaults currently leading the Formula 1 constructor points were noticeably outperformed in qualifying. Sebastian Vettel qualified 5th for tomorrow's event while Mark Webber missed the final Q3 round of Saturday's time trials settling into a 11th place spot on the Italian Grand Prix grid.

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

Though registering a fourth-fastest time in qualifying, Paul di Resta will start five positions deeper in the field in 9th place driving his Force India-Mercedes. Along with Schumacher as well as Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Kamui Kobayashi were also promoted a position in the grid for Sunday's main event.

Set for 53 laps, the Italian Grand Prix at the Monza circuit is set to start at 8 am eastern time. Race conditions are expected to be sunny with temperatures up to 28 degrees Celsius possible.

2012 Formula 1
Italian Grand Prix
Starting Lineup

Pos # Car #/ Driver/ Car
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
3 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
4 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
5 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
7 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault
8 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
9 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
10 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
11 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
12 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari
13 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault
14 16 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari
15 10 Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari
17 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault
18 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault
19 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth
20 25 Charlie Pic Marussia-Cosworth
21 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1
22 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT F1
24 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes

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