• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton leads McLaren front row lockout at Monza

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button locked out an all-McLaren front row as Fernando Alonso's challenge for pole position at Ferrari's home Italian Grand Prix fell apart in Q3.

Hamilton was over a tenth clear of Button with Massa snatching some pride for Ferrari in third. It had looked like Alonso would challenge the McLarens but when it came to Q3 he spent his first run offering Massa a slipstream tow, but a suspected rear anti-roll bar issue prevented him improving on his last lap. I

Paul di Resta finished fourth fastest but will drop to ninth once his five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change is taken into account. That will promote Michael Schumacher to fourth ahead of Sebastian Vettel as Red Bull continued to struggle for one-lap pace around Monza. Nico Rosberg will start sixth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and a solid effort from Kamui Kobayashi. Di Resta will therefore round out the top ten on the grid, starting on the same row as Alonso.

Mark Webber will start from 11th after dropping out in Q2. His Red Bull was less than a tenth slower than Kimi Raikkonen in tenth, but over a tenth slower than team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Pastor Maldonado qualified 12th, which will become 22nd when his penalty is applied, after running a touch wide at Ascari and having a scary moment on the grass. Sergio Perez was 13th fastest ahead of Bruno Senna, Daniel Ricciardo, Jerome d'Ambrosio, who is standing in for the banned Romain Grosjean at Lotus this weekend, and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Nico Hulkenberg was the high-profile scalp in Q1 as his Force India came to a halt at the first chicane with a gearbox problem. He failed to set a time and as a result will start from the back of the grid behind the HRTs, Marussias and Caterhams. Heikki Kovalainen gave d'Ambrosio a run for his money towards the end of Q1 and forced the Lotus driver back out on medium tyres, but ultimately the Caterham did not have the pace.