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Hamilton takes last gasp pole in Monza
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Hamilton takes last gasp pole in Monza
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Sep 2009   |  2:31 pm GMT  |  24 comments

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix with a last minute lap to take it away from the Force India of Adrian Sutil.

Photo: Darren Heath

Photo: Darren Heath

The German briefly went fastest, but had made a mistake at the Lesmo bends, which arguably cost him the pole, as he ended up two tenths of a second behind the world champion.

Three of the top four cars are equipped with KERS, underlining its potency around Monza. Sutil will doubtless be swallowed up at the start by Kimi Raikkonen, who starts third and fourth place Heikki Kovalainen.

Ross Brawn confirmed that both of his cars are one stop strategies, as it looks like the Brawn team decided to start behind the KERS cars as they would have been sure to be passed by them at the start anyway. On that basis to start fifth and sixth with a one stop strategy leaves them extremely well placed. Once again Rubens Barrichello is ahead of him on the grid.

The Red Bull team, Brawn’s major championship threat, wound up in 9th and 10th places. One presumes that both teams have gone for the maximum fuel load for the first stint and it’s clearly advantage Brawn after qualifying. Button looked like he is back on form after some difficult times recently.

“We are getting the best out of the car. It was a good qualifying and we have a lot of fuel for the race so I’m happy,” said Button.

Kimi Raikkonen did a strong job again for Ferrari to get third on the grid. Team mate Giancarlo Fisichella missed the cut for the final qualifying session, starting 14th on the grid. The Italian was 0.475 seconds off his team mate in Q2.

It looked from his driving today that he has been struggling to feel comfortable with the car under braking. He went off in the morning practice session after a mistake under braking for the Parabolica, taking off the front left corner in the barriers.

He starts behind both of the Force India cars and it’s impossible not to feel delighted for Sutil, who badly needs to get some points tomorrow after coming up short so many times.

“It’s such a different feeling in the car now because I know I have a chance, I’m really happy to be here,” said Sutil.

Both Force India cars were in the top seven with Tonio Liuzzi doing a great job on his first race for the team.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a guess as to how close Fisi would be to Raikkonen in qualifying. The correct answer was 0.475 seconds so please send me a message via the comments section if you think you were close to that. We will go through all the answers submitted in the time frame before midnight on Thursday to find the winner of the signed Schumacher biography.

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24 Comments
  1. Jonathan Chan says:

    Great Job by the Force India Boys, Stunning attempt by Luizi I actually predicted he’d make it into the Top 8. Will just have to wait and see How light Lewis is… Bring on Sunday!

  2. Martin Collyer says:

    Congrats to Sutil, he’s been a ‘nearly man’ for Force India for a while now.

    Brawns looking good for the race, Red Bulls rather less so.

    Can’t wait.

  3. Simon of Melbourne says:

    Hi James,

    I predicted Fisi would be 0.452 seconds behind Raikkonen.

    My comment was number 202 through this link: http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2009/09/tifosi-back-fisichella-to-shine-on-debut-at-monza/

    The message was:
    “202. Simon of Melbourne
    September 7th, 2009 @ 12:12 am
    I think he will be 0.452 seconds behind Kimi…thought I’d try and pick an ‘exact’ figure.”

  4. " for sure " says:

    I just wish Fisi had stayed put. I wonder how he feels? I wonder where Badoer would have been? Not a lot worse I suspect, if at all.

  5. john says:

    James,what about the contest?
    And the winner is..

  6. Ronnie Mirza says:

    I had predicted 0.454 secs of Kimi’s Pace!!

  7. Red Kimi says:

    Good boy Kimi… now go take the fight to Hamilton!

  8. Antoine says:

    Another great picture from Darren Heath as always, is it Photoshop or that’s the real speed effect on the picture?

  9. Carl Craven says:

    I don’t know how they managed to flip their grid status from second to last to second, but I am pleased for Sutil and a great job from Luizzi too who hasn’t driven in 1 for some time.

    Button is perfectly poised. He may not win, nor even beat Rubens, but at this rate Rubens nor anyone else is not going to be able to take suficient points away from Jenson unless a miracle occurs. I haven’t checked the points standings but if Lewis won the remaining 5 races could he still do it?

    1. Martin Collyer says:

      Lewis is 45 points behind with 50 available. Hang on to your hats!!

  10. PaulL says:

    James, two questions.

    1) How come you are not doing the unilateral interviews this weekend? I prefer your questions personally.

    2) Why, if you know, have Red Bull reverted to their pre-Silverstone front wing config? The change has obviously not brought them an advance in performance.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yep, I was otherwise engaged. I’ll be back in the chair soon.

  11. Alexx says:

    Hi James

    I sent in 0.436.
    Hopefully that is close enough to win, otherwise i missed by 0.039. Almost feels like im on a qualifying run!

    Regards,
    Alexx

  12. Dave says:

    I think Richard Dreyer has it at 0.478. Well done Richard – too bad Fisi!

  13. adam hiles says:

    Is it me or did Fisi not seem to be deploying his KERS at the same points on the straights as the other drivers? Could this be something to do with his final qualifying time relative to Raikonnen?

  14. Ray.C. says:

    What was your guess James?

    I was miles out, but my dif was nearly bang on after 1st prac.
    Good thing I already have the book.

    1. James Allen says:

      I had a feeling it would be around 0.475secs, of course! Actually that is pretty decent considering he had to bounce back from his crash in the morning. That was a big setback and another driver might easily have lost his head in qualifying after that.

  15. Silverstoned says:

    Is that the official final grid?
    What about LH’s penalty for impeding Buemi?

    1. George says:

      From the interview with Buemi after the race it didn’t seem he’d be putting a protest in, so Hamilton shouldn’t get a penalty.

      I hope the Brawns dont get stuck behind Kovy tomorrow…

    2. Cliff says:

      The stewards will not be penalising Hamilton for the incident.

  16. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

    Well, it’s really surprising that so many people behind the top-three have gone for such long strategies.

    I’ve got to say that, based on lap times, Hamilton’s looking really good. He might be eight laps lighter than the Brawns, but look how much faster he is with the fuel load; it’s about a second quicker. If he can run that kind of pace and squeeze a few really monster laps out, he could well come out ahead of the Brawns after his first pit stop. Raikkonen looks about four laps longer, but Hamilton was a half-second quicker than him, as well. Hamilton should have the pace to pull it off.

    Look out for Alonso to make a jump on the start with KERS. It could really mess things up for the Brawns.

  17. raffamuffin says:

    Let’s hope we get to see Lewis race for more than just one lap this time!

  18. Carl M says:

    Great lap by Hamilton. However this is my prediction;

    1. Kimi
    2. Lewis
    3. Barrichello
    4. Kovalinen

    Look forward to the grand prix.

  19. Granddad says:

    Hi James,
    I had all the right numbers .457 except that the last two should have been reversed.
    Nevermind, it was a great contest, you will have to do it again.
    Regards,
    John (granddad)

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