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Hamilton beats rival Rosberg to Monza pole

2014-09-06 15:51

TOP FORM: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been consistent all weekend and managed to grab pole for the Italian GP on Sunday. Image: AFP/ Francois Lenoir


MONZA, Italy - Lewis Hamilton showed constant pace to clinch pole on Saturday ahead of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying for Sunday's2014  Formula 1 Italian GP.

A quickest lap of 1min24.109 on the Monza circuit was enough to put Hamilton at the front of the grid, beating overall leader Rosberg by 0.274sec. Hamilton set the pace in third practice and all three qualifying sessions for his first pole since the Spanish GP eight races earlier in May - and the 36th of his career.

Hamilton said: "I feel excited for tomorrow. I'm very proud of my guys on my side of the garage. They have been through the difficult times with me. They've done a remarkable job bouncing back, so we've done this as a team and it's great to have another 1-2 for the team."


Rosberg said second "is still good" for the race. "In the race anything can happen and we need to work towards the race and get a good strategy and have a good race."

Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa captured the next row of the grid, followed by McLaren duo Kevin Magnusson and Jenson Button.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will start seventh in the team's home race. Red Bull's four-times Drivers' champion Sebastian Vettel and his team mate Daniel Ricciardo are next up, with Sergio Perez in a Force India completing the leading 10.

Alonso said: "In the end, I'm happy. I have a huge support here, the people are crazy about Ferrari - they hope a Ferrari will win. They will see me qualify seventh, but it doesn't matter. Tomorrow they think that you will win.

"That motivates me a lot. I hope we can give them something in return."


Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, 11th in the second session but missed the cut for the final session, has a 10-place grid penalty after a sixth engine change, one more than permitted.

Also missing out on Q3 were Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, Jean-Eric Vergne (Torro Rosso), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and Sauber pair Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Lotus pair Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi, Marussia's Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton and Caterham's Marcus Ericsson went out after the first session.

Rosberg will go into Sunday's race defending a 29-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers' championship with them both told by their team not to take unnecessary risks after contact in the previous race in Belgium.

Rosberg had to pull out of the day's final practice before the qualifying runs without completing a lap because of a gearbox problem. No changes were needed to the car, hoever, and Rosberg was able to complete qualifying.


The sessions again saw a much-improved Williams jockeying for top places with Bottas and Massa lying just behind the Mercedes pair.

Asked if he could challenge the Mercedes duo, Bottas said: "I really hope so. From Friday to today they had a bit more pace. We hoped we could be close to them. I think we have a solid race pace."

McLaren also enjoyed a revival of its fortunes. Driver Jenson Button said: "All weekend it's been pretty good, just tweaking the set-up throughout. We wee surprisedhow quick the Williams are."

Qualifying and grid order for the 2014 Italian F1 GP
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min24.109
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min24.383
3 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min24.697
4 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min24.865
5 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min25.314
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min25.379
7 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min25.430
8 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1min25.436
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1min25.709
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1min25.944
11 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min26.070
12 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min26.110
13 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min26.157
14 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min26.279
15 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1min26.588
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1min26.692
17 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault 1min27.520
18 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1min27.632
19 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - Renault 1min27.671
20 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Ferrari 1min27.738
21 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 1min:28.247
22 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - Renault 1min28.56

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