Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pole Report: Lewis Hamilton puts McLaren on pole for Italian Grand Prix

by Lisa Reese

What should have been an easy pole for the current points leader went awry in Q3. Fernando Alonso now finds himself starting the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO SANTANDER D'ITALIA 2012 firmly in mid-pack because of a broken rear anti-roll bar.

Lewis Hamilton, the center of most of the series’ gossip for the week, and his teammate Jenson Button, have put McLaren squarely in front with Massa and Di Resta in third and fourth, respectively. Schumacher and Vettel are just behind the Ferrari and Force India, in fifth and sixth. Kimi Raikkonen is in eighth with Alonso in 10th. Pastor Maldonado, another much-talked-about driver this week due to last week's crash in Spa is, mercifully, starting in 12th behind those who have any chance at the Driver's Championship.

Because of a gearbox change, Di Resta incurred a five-place penalty so the top-10 grid order will be: Hamilton, Button; Massa, Schumacher; Vettel, Rosberg; Raikkonen, Kobayashi; Di Resta, Alonso. Let's not forget Maldonado’s two five-place penalties from Spa. That has changed the grid order from the sixth row downwards:: Webber, Perez; Senna, Ricciardo; D’Ambrosio (driving for the banned Romain Grosjean), Vergne; Kovalainen, Petrov; Glock, Pic; Karthikeyan, Maldonado; De la Rosa, Hulkenberg.

Rumors have been flying this week that Lewis Hamilton is unhappy at McLaren and entertaining a move to Mercedes. Nothing has been said officially, but I can't help but wonder if, after today's qualifying and, if Hamilton/McLaren win tomorrow, those rumors will be nipped in the bud, a contract signed and Hamilton will stay right where he is. Nobody likes attention more than Lewis Hamilton and I'm sure the tongue-wagging over where he will be next year is no exception.

Italian Grand Prix 2012 Qualifying

1LC Hamilton McLaren1'24.010
2J Button McLaren1'24.133
3F Massa Ferrari1'24.247
4P di Resta Force India1'24.304
5M Schumacher Mercedes1'24.540
6S Vettel Red Bull1'24.802
7N Rosberg Mercedes1'24.833
8KM Räikkönen Lotus1'24.855
9K Kobayashi Sauber1'25.109
10F Alonso Ferrari1'25.678
11M Webber Red Bull1'24.809
12P Maldonado Williams1'24.820
13S Perez Sauber1'24.901
14B Senna Williams1'25.042
15D Ricciardo Toro Rosso1'25.312
16J d'Ambrosio Lotus1'25.408
17JE Vergne Toro Rosso1'25.441
18H Kovalainen Caterham1'26.382
19V PetrovCaterham1'26.887
20T Glock (GER)Marussia1'27.039
21C Pic (FRA)Marussia1'27.073
22KRN Karthikeyan (IND)HRT1'27.441
23PM de la Rosa (ESP)HRT1'27.629
24N Hülkenberg (GER)Force India

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