• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton tempers joy at pole

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012 « Five-place grid penalty for di Resta after gearbox change | Tow didn't help Massa in Q3 »
Lewis Hamilton secured the 23rd pole position of his career at Monza © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton played down his pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, saying it was achieved with "a half decent lap" at Monza.

Having been quickest in both FP2 and FP3, Hamilton looked to be set for a close battle with Fernando Alonso during qualifying as he edged the Ferrari out by just 0.001s in the final practice session. However, after Alonso hit trouble in Q3 Hamilton was able to lock-out the front row for McLaren alongside Jenson Button and he was more interested in praising the team for the car it had provided.

"It's been a tough weekend but we've managed to work on the set-up and on the package that the guys brought from the factory," Hamilton said. "They've done a fantastic job so congratulations to the team and a great effort from the lads. I managed to get a half decent lap at the beginning of Q3 so I'm pretty happy and it's great obviously for the team to have me and Jenson at the front."

Hamilton also insisted that the ongoing rumours about his future have not been a distraction for him at all.

"I haven't had any distractions this weekend so it's been quite positive. The support from my family and friends has - as always - been incredible. So I've just been enjoying the weekend; it's been pretty smooth so far."