McLaren front row as Alonso suffers car failure

McLaren front row as Alonso suffers car failure

8 September 2012 – Lewis Hamilton has clinched his second pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, leading Jenson Button to the third McLaren front row lock-out of 2012. Felipe Massa will start third for Ferrari but team-mate Fernando Alonso suffered an anti-roll bar problem and was left tenth. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will start fifth and eleventh.

Heading into a dry qualifying session under blue skies, thousands of Tifosi flocked to historic Monza hoping for an Alonso pole. After the Spaniard missed out on the top spot in final practice by just one thousandth of a second, levels of optimism rose. At Lotus, Jérôme d’Ambrosio returned to racing as a substitute for the banned Romain Grosjean.

There were no major surprises in Q1, but Nico Hülkenberg was extremely disappointed to miss out on what he believed could have been his best grid slot of the season. The Force India suffered a fuel line problem and was forced to pull over; he starts 24th and last on Sunday. This aided d’Ambrosio, who scraped through to Q2 after a close battle with Heikki Kovalainen’s Caterham. Behind, Narain Karthikeyan out-qualified Pedro de la Rosa at HRT, helping to confirm that all drivers have now beaten their team-mate at some point in 2012.

D’Ambrosio fell by the wayside in the second phase, but managed to stay ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne’s Toro Rosso. With Red Bull continuing to lack top speed, Mark Webber could not avoid an early bath and missed the top ten shootout for the fourth time this year, also hindered by a KERS issue. Pastor Maldonado qualified 12th, which becomes 22nd place when his ten-place penalty is applied; this was perhaps the lesser of two evils, as the Williams driver narrowly escaped a large accident after running onto the grass on the exit of Ascari.

Knowing Mercedes engines hold the upper hand, Ferrari attempted the clever tactic of instructing their drivers to slipstream each other. This worked out for Massa, but the Brazilian was unable to repay the favour as Alonso already had a problem; a broken anti-roll bar is the latest in a string of issues with Alonso’s new chassis, which was introduced after his previous car was written off in the heavy accident at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. Massa went on to qualify third, thus getting the better of Alonso on a Saturday for the first time in 2012.

Hamilton’s fastest lap was 1:24.010, comfortably the quickest of the weekend as the Englishman stressed that he has not been distracted by talk of moving to Mercedes. Button missed pole by one tenth of a second but it was still a hat-trick for the Woking team. Paul di Resta was on a provisional front row slot before falling to a still impressive fourth; this becomes ninth on Sunday because of a five-place drop for a gearbox change.

Once di Resta is demoted, Vettel will start inside the top five and sandwiched by the Mercedes factory cars of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Kimi Räikkönen will be seventh on a grid on what is becoming a damage limitation weekend for Lotus. From eighth, Kamui Kobayashi and Sauber will be attempting to avoid any first-corner bedlam, not least as Sergio Pérez was held up by Bruno Senna and failed to make it out of Q2.

The result marks the fifth McLaren pole position of 2012, Lewis Hamilton’s fourth and the 23rd of his career. By locking out the front row, to the dismay of Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, McLaren have repeated a feat last achieved five years ago. They also equal Williams for 61 Formula 1 front row lock-outs.


Sunday’s Grand Prix, the final race in Europe this year, starts at 2pm local time (BST +1) and can be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 28 July 2014

  2. Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction 15:00

    Porsche SA buys Kyalami circuit at auction

    South Africa's Kyalami circuit, which hosted F1 for almost two decades, has been bought by Porsche. The 72-hectare...

    F1
  3. Post-race penalties hand Marciello point 14:32

    Post-race penalties hand Marciello point

    Racing Engineering driver and Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello has moved into the points for the second Hungaroring GP2...

    GP2
  4. Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo 13:31

    Horner lauds 'truly sensational' Ricciardo

    Christian Horner has heaped praise on Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo for delivering a "truly sensational"...

    F1
  5. Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves 12:39

    Mattiacci: We must not delude ourselves

    Marco Mattiacci says Ferrari must keep its feet firmly on the ground after claiming a sizeable points haul at the Hungarian...

    F1
  6. Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP 11:07

    Video: Rosberg reflects on Hungarian GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix, which included a costly Safety Car period, a team...

    F1
  7. Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race 10:47

    Villeneuve: Rosberg tried to ruin Hamilton's race

    Jacques Villeneuve believes that Nico Rosberg tried to "destroy" Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian Grand Prix. Rosberg was...

    F1
  8. Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff 10:10

    Caterham team facing legal action from ex-staff

    The Caterham F1 team is facing legal action from around 40 former employees, laid off earlier this month. Since Tony...

    F1
  9. Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point 09:32

    Sutil positive despite narrowly missing point

    Adrian Sutil extracted the positives after narrowly missing out on his and Sauber's first point of the season at the...

    F1
  10. Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders 09:02

    Lauda backs Hamilton over team orders

    Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton was completely within his rights to ignore instructions to...

    F1
  11. Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result 07:23

    Räikkönen says sixth was maximum result

    Kimi Räikkönen says finishing sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix was the most he could have hoped for after a disastrous q...

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic 05:14

    Video of the Day: Stories from Senna's mechanic

    Neil Trundle, former Chief Mechanic to Ayrton Senna, discusses his time working with a legend of the sport.

    F1
  13. 03:06

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
  14. Sunday 27 July 2014

  15. Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot 19:54

    Bottas feels tyre strategy cost podium shot

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas reckons he could have been in the podium fight in Hungary if he had chosen a better tyre...

    F1
  16. Mercedes to discuss Hungary team orders 18:18

    Mercedes to discuss Hungary team orders

    Mercedes says it will hold internal discussions with its drivers after the outfit issued team orders during the Hungarian...

    F1
  17. Force India drivers apologetic after incidents 17:56

    Force India drivers apologetic after incidents

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez have both apologised to their team after retiring from the Hungarian G...

    F1
  18. Button laments misleading weather forecast 17:14

    Button laments misleading weather forecast

    Jenson Button was left to lament a missed opportunity after getting caught out by false rain predictions in the Hungarian...

    F1
  19. Rosberg: First Safety Car wrecked race 16:57

    Rosberg: First Safety Car wrecked race

    Nico Rosberg says the timing of the first Safety Car period ruined his chances of winning Sunday afternoon's Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  20. 16:40

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    F1
  21. 'Nice surprise' for Alonso and Ferrari 16:39

    'Nice surprise' for Alonso and Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso says finishing on the Hungarian Grand Prix podium came as a "nice surprise" to himself and his Ferrari...

    F1
  22. Hamilton grateful to recover to podium 16:28

    Hamilton grateful to recover to podium

    Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was grateful to recover to the podium after a first lap error during the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  23. Ricciardo: Safety Car did not hand me win 16:00

    Ricciardo: Safety Car did not hand me win

    Daniel Ricciardo says he was made to work for his Hungarian Grand Prix victory, playing down the role of two Safety Car...

    F1
  24. 15:25

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race result

    F1
  25. Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix 15:03

    Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix

    Daniel Ricciardo claimed the second victory of his Formula 1 career during an incident-packed Hungarian Grand Prix. The Red...

    F1
  26. 13:40

    Follow the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix live!

    F1
  27. Button tips Hamilton to finish on podium 11:37

    Button tips Hamilton to finish on podium

    Jenson Button has tipped Lewis Hamilton to recover from his qualifying woes and finish on the Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  28. 10:29

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  29. Vandoorne takes GP2 Sprint Race victory 10:28

    Vandoorne takes GP2 Sprint Race victory

    McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne came out on top in the GP2 Sprint Race at the Hungaroring after taking the lead at...

    GP2
  30. 09:05

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  31. Niederhauser controls second GP3 race 09:04

    Niederhauser controls second GP3 race

    Arden driver Patric Niederhauser claimed his first GP3 victory since 2012 in the second race of the weekend at the...

    GP3
  32. Briatore to assist Formula 1 popularity drive 07:00

    Briatore to assist Formula 1 popularity drive

    Ex-Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore is set to be involved in a new working group being put together by Bernie Ecclestone...

    F1
  33. Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide – Part 6 05:00

    Video of the Day: Wind tunnel guide – Part 6

    Sauber's Head of Aerodynamics, Willem Toet, continues his talk on the science of F1 wind tunnel design.

    F1
  34. 03:00

    Revised starting grid for the Hungarian GP

    F1
  35. Saturday 26 July 2014

  36. Mercedes apologises to Hamilton for fire 20:06

    Mercedes apologises to Hamilton for fire

    Mercedes has apologised to Lewis Hamilton after he suffered another technical problem during Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  37. Coletti stripped of podium, Marciello loses pole 19:42

    Coletti stripped of podium, Marciello loses pole

    Racing Engineering drivers Stefano Coletti and Raffaele Marciello have been given post-race time penalties as a result of...

    GP2
  38. 17:09

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  39. Stanaway holds on for Race 1 victory 17:08

    Stanaway holds on for Race 1 victory

    Richie Stanaway held off the advances of Robert Vișoiu to claim victory in the opening GP3 race of the weekend in...

    GP3
  40. Kvyat vows to learn from qualifying error 16:52

    Kvyat vows to learn from qualifying error

    Daniil Kvyat has vowed to learn from the mistake that prevented him from progressing to the final phase of qualifying in...

    F1
  41. Bianchi delighted with Q2 appearance 16:27

    Bianchi delighted with Q2 appearance

    Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was overjoyed after reaching Q2 for the second time this season during Hungarian Grand Prix...

    F1
  42. 16:03

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  43. Pic claims maiden GP2 win in Hungary thriller 16:02

    Pic claims maiden GP2 win in Hungary thriller

    Arthur Pic claimed his maiden GP2 victory for Campos during a thrilling Feature Race at the Hungaroring, ahead of Stefano...

    GP2
more news