Daily Archives: September 10, 2011

Vettel unchallenged to Italian Grand Prix pole position

Sebastian Vettel took a commanding pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were set to challenge the Red Bull, but both gave up on their final laps, allowing Sebastian to take the front spot on the grid.

Fernando Alonso was 4th, with Mark Webber 5th. Here is the full report:


Pastor Maldonado pits without a front wing

Pastor Maldonado pits without a front wing

Jaime Alguersuari set the first competitive time of Q1, – a 1:26.610. Jenson Button improved the fastest time by over 2 seconds, while Alonso and Vettel went 2nd and 3rd.

Hamilton and Vettel each lowered the benchmark by 0.4 seconds several seconds after each other.

A brief yellow flag came out on the main straight, as Pastor Maldonado knocked off his front wing, spinning as he entered the pit lane.

Mark Webber was the last car to leave the pits, and was also one of the few not to put on a new engine for this weekend. He was unusually off the pace, classified 7th.

Maldonado finally set a lap time with 2 minutes to go. With the Lotuses not challenging for 17th place, it became clear that only one midfield car would be knocked out of Q1. Kamui Kobayashi, Sebastien Buemi and Bruno Senna all fell into the drop zone, before Jaime Alguersuari was pushed into 18th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:25.334

19) Jarno Trulli – 1:26.647

20) Heikki Kovalainen -1:27.184

21) Timo Glock – 1:27.591

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:27.609

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:28.054

24) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:28.231


Paul di Resta's gamble failed to pay off, and was eliminated in Q2

Paul di Resta's gamble failed to pay off, and was eliminated in Q2

Jenson Button set a 1:23.427, before Vettel quickly went 3 tenths faster. Sebastian then became the first man of the weekend to break the 1:22 barrier.

Fernando Alonso pushed his car to the max, but only managed 4th. Lewis Hamilton was 7th, but impressively set that time on the medium tyres, unlike his rivals.

He soon went out on the softer tyres, going 3rd. The top 10 runners all opted not to do a final run, which was especially risky for Paul di Resta in 10th. It proved to be decisive, as Bruno Senna sliced into 10th place by 0.006 seconds.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Paul di Resta – 1:24.163

12) Adrian Sutil – 1:24.209

13) Rubens Barrichell0 1:24.648

14) Pastor Maldonado – 1:24.726

15) Sergio Perez – 1:24.845

16) Sebastien Buemi – 1:24.932

17) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:25.065


Vettel heads Hamilton and Button on the grid

Vettel heads Hamilton and Button on the grid

The Ferraris were the first out for Q3, and were met with a roar of approval by the crowd. Alonso set a 1:22.999, 3 tenths faster than Felipe Massa.

Button swiftly went fastest, before Vettel beat the fastest lap of the weekend once again. Lewis Hamilton went within one tenth of Sebastian.

Vettel was set to go even quicker, but a spectacular powerslide in the middle of the Ascari chicane cut short his run. Nico Rosberg took on the medium tyres, but was nowhere near the frontrunners.

All 10 cars went out on track for the final two minutes. Lewis Hamilton ruined his final lap under braking, and Jenson Button gave up his last run. Mark Webber disappointed with 4th, and the Ferrari’s challenge failed to materialise. This left Vettel with a clear pole position, and his final lap of 1:22.275 wasn’t even necessary.

Times from Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:22.275

2) Lewis Hamilton – 1:22.725

3) Jenson Button – 1:22.777

4) Fernando Alonso – 1:22.841

5) Mark Webber – 1:22.972

6) Felipe Massa – 1:23.138

7) Vitaly Petrov – 1:23.530

8 ) Michael Schumacher – 1:23.777

9) Nico Rosberg – 1:24.477

10) Bruno Senna – No time set