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.
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.