Daily Archives: September 7, 2013

Vettel takes unchallenged Monza pole position as Hamilton stumbles

For the first time in 3 months, a driver other than Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position in the 2013 season. Unsurprisingly, it was Sebastian Vettel who took this achivement, while Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen suffered shocking performances in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Q1

Toro Rosso showed impressive pace in the first session, with Jean-Eric Vergne leading the timesheets for the majority of Q1. Quick times from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel unseated the Frenchman, but he was still a force to be reckoned with.

After a heavy crash in morning practice, Paul di Resta’s car was repaired in time for qualifying, but it was apparent that his car was bouncing off the rev limiter on the straights. Even with reduced straight-line speed, he managed to scrape through to the next session.

Valtteri Bottas disappointed, as he and Esteban Gutierrez were left with the Caterhams and Marussias in the drop zone.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

17) Esteban Gutierrez – 1:25.226

18) Valtteri Bottas – 1:25.291

19) Giedo van der Garde- 1:26.406

20) Charles Pic – 1:26.563

21) Jules Bianchi – 1:27.085

22) Max Chilton – 1:27.480

Q2

Another impressive Toro Rosso lap, this time from Daniel Ricciardo, put him in 4th place for the majority of Q2. The Ferraris experimented with slipstreaming each other, although it was not necessary, as Alonso’s time of 1:24.227 put him on top.

Vettel soon retook the top spot, while Mercedes and Lotus soon realised they were lacking in pace compared to Red Bull and Ferrari. Nico Rosberg struggled to 6th place, while Lewis Hamilton didn’t even make it out of Q2. Even more surprisingly, Kimi Raikkonen joined him, and they will line up 11th and 12th on the grid.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Kimi Raikkonen – 1:24.610

12) Lewis Hamilton – 1:24.803

13) Romain Grosjean – 1:24.848

14) Adrian Sutil – 1:24.932

15) Pastor Maldonado – 1:25.011

16) Paul di Resta – 1:25.077

Q3

While Mark Webber initially led proceedings, he was quickly overtaken by Vettel once again. Fernando Alonso tried to get a tow on Felipe Massa for his first run, but couldn’t make it work efficiently.

They tried again on their final attempt, but amusingly Massa was too far up the road for Alonso to benefit. Furious, Fernando ruined his own lap, and could only manage 4th, behind his teammate.

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo put in fantastic lap times, taking 3rd and 7th places. A mistake for Jean-Eric Vergne at Parabolica threw up a huge amount of gravel, almost throwing a spanner in the works of several drivers’ lap times.

With Ferrari’s tactics falling embarassingly short for a second year in a row, Vettel was unchallenged to pole position, while Mark Webber slotted into second place.

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