Hamilton takes Monza pole

Hamilton led Button to claim an all-McLaren front row at Monza as Fernando Alonso only managed 10th.

Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth pole position of the 2012 Formula 1 season as he led Jenson Button in an all-McLaren front row in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Having led both second and third practice, Hamilton maintained his strong form to set a 1m24.010s at the start of Q3.

That proved unbeatable, and Button eventually joined him up front with a lap 0.123 seconds slower.

Button's run deposed Felipe Massa, as the Ferrari driver delivered his best qualifying performance of the year.

But it was a disastrous session for Massa's championship-leading team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was only 10th, 1.4s slower. Ferrari reported a suspected anti-rollbar failure.

Paul di Resta qualified a superb fourth, although he will move down to ninth when agearbox-change penalty is applied.

The Scot's speed will still be some consolation for Force India as his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg encountered an apparent gearbox problem at the start of Q1 and was left at the back of the field.

Red Bull had another muted qualifying session. Sebastian Vettel was sixth, while his team-mate Mark Webber did not make Q3, missing the cut by 0.067s as he took 11th.

Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg sandwich Vettel in fifth and seventh.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified eighth for Lotus, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber.

It was also a tough day for Williams. A mistake on the exit of the Ascaris left Pastor Maldonado 12th in Q2, which will become 22nd on the grid due to his Spa penalties. Bruno Senna was only 14th in the sister car.

Romain Grosjean's substitute Jerome d'Ambrosio was around 0.7s off team-mate Raikkonen's pace throughout qualifying, which left him 16th for his Lotus debut.

D'Ambrosio substitute had a brief scare in Q1 when an error on his first run left him behind Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham and in danger of elimination, but he switched to the softer tyres and made the cut with his last attempt.

Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan outqualified his teammate Pedro De La Rosa for the first time this season, his best effort almost two-tenths clear of the Spaniard.

Pos  Driver              Car                   Time       Gap
 1.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1m24.010s
 2.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1m24.133s  + 0.123s
 3.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1m24.247s  + 0.237s
 4.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1m24.304s  + 0.294s***
 5.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1m24.540s  + 0.530s
 6.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1m24.802s  + 0.792s
 7.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m24.833s  + 0.823s
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault         1m24.855s  + 0.845s
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1m25.109s  + 1.099s
10.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1m25.678s  + 1.668s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m24.742s                                Gap *
11.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1m24.809s  + 0.567s
12.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Renault      1m24.820s  + 0.578s****
13.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1m24.901s  + 0.659s
14.  Bruno Senna         Williams-Renault      1m25.042s  + 0.800s
15.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m25.312s  + 1.070s
16.  Jerome d'Ambrosio   Lotus-Renault         1m25.408s  + 1.166s
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m25.441s  + 1.199s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m25.834s                                Gap **
18.  Heikki Kovalainen   Caterham-Renault      1m26.382s  + 2.207s
19.  Vitaly Petrov       Caterham-Renault      1m26.887s  + 2.712s
20.  Timo Glock          Marussia-Cosworth     1m27.039s  + 2.864s
21.  Charles Pic         Marussia-Cosworth     1m27.073s  + 2.898s
22.  Narain Karthikeyan  HRT-Cosworth          1m27.441s  + 3.266s
23.  Pedro de la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth          1m27.629s  + 3.454s
24.  Nico Hulkenberg     Force India-Mercedes

107 per cent time: 1m30.076s

* Gap to fastest in Q2
** Gap to fastest in Q3
*** Will take five-place penalty
**** Will take 10-place penalty

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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 184 | Autocar India: December 2014

India’s first proper sportscar, the DC Avanti, driven, the new Mini Cooper D road tested, a pair of exciting new Marutis and a whole lot more, in this month’s issue.
Autocar Magazine
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