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. Friday 12 February 2016

  2. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Armand completes Trident's line-up 16:00

    Armand completes Trident's line-up

    Indonesian racer Philo Paz Armand will make the step up to GP2 with Trident in 2016. Armand, 19, contested a selection of…

    GP2
  4. Ecclestone: Monza future still uncertain 14:53

    Ecclestone: Monza future still uncertain

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says the future of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza remains uncertain, and that progress over…

    F1
  5. Ferrari: No title in 10 years would be 'tragedy' 13:06

    Ferrari: No title in 10 years would be 'tragedy'

    Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne says that it would be a "tragedy" for the team to go 10 years without a title triumph in…

    F1
  6. Video: Tony Kanaan's Indy 500 tattoo 12:18

    Video: Tony Kanaan's Indy 500 tattoo

    IndyCar champion plus Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona winner Tony Kanaan explains his new tattoo.

    Indy
  7. Baz eager to confirm test crash cause 11:25

    Baz eager to confirm test crash cause

    Loris Baz says he is eager to determine the cause of his high-speed accident during the opening pre-season test at Sepang, which…

    MotoGP
  8. Wolff: Wehrlein, Ocon in F1 'on merit' 10:17

    Wolff: Wehrlein, Ocon in F1 'on merit'

    Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says that he is "proud" to see young drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon take on…

    F1
  9. Mexico City ePrix to be streamed in UK 10:05

    Mexico City ePrix to be streamed in UK

    Formula E's Mexico City ePrix will not be aired live on ITV4, with the series instead streaming it across various online…

    FE
  10. Vandoorne seals Super Formula drive 09:46

    Vandoorne seals Super Formula drive

    McLaren test and reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne has secured a seat in the Japan-based Super Formula series for 2016, the…

    F1
  11. ART confirms Matsushita for second term 08:57

    ART confirms Matsushita for second term

    ART Grand Prix has confirmed that it will run Nobuharu Matsushita for a second GP2 season in 2016. Honda-backed Matsushita…

    GP2
  12. Video of the Day: FE on sustainability 05:12

    Video of the Day: FE on sustainability

    Formula E drivers discuss the importance of a sustainable future for cities such as Buenos Aires.

    FE
  13. Thursday 11 February 2016

  14. Video: Ferrari fires up 2016 engine 16:37

    Video: Ferrari fires up 2016 engine

    Ferrari fires up its 2016 power unit as preparations gather pace for the new Formula 1 season.

    F1
  15. De Jong completes MP Motorsport line-up 14:15

    De Jong completes MP Motorsport line-up

    Daniël de Jong will contest the 2016 GP2 season with MP Motorsport, completing the team's line-up. Dutch racer de Jong, 23…

    GP2
  16. 'Engine parity would improve racing' – Key 12:53

    'Engine parity would improve racing' – Key

    Toro Rosso technical chief James Key says that engine parity would be a clear way of improving the racing in Formula 1, as the…

    F1
  17. Jordan moves into BBC Top Gear role 11:03

    Jordan moves into BBC Top Gear role

    Eddie Jordan has taken on a role with the revamped BBC show Top Gear following the broadcaster's early termination of its…

    F1
  18. Video: Mercedes power unit revealed 10:31

    Video: Mercedes power unit revealed

    Mercedes provides a detailed look at its Formula 1 power unit in the latest episode of its studio show.

    F1
  19. Miller to return to action at Phillip Island 10:12

    Miller to return to action at Phillip Island

    Jack Miller will return to action at next week's Phillip Island pre-season test, Marc VDS has confirmed. Miller, who has…

    MotoGP
  20. Ocon lands Mercedes DTM seat for 2016 09:35

    Ocon lands Mercedes DTM seat for 2016

    GP3 champion Esteban Ocon will contest the DTM in 2016, after landing a seat at Mercedes. Ocon, 19, combined his GP3 duties…

    DTM
  21. Wehrlein wants 'really good' team-mate 09:27

    Wehrlein wants 'really good' team-mate

    Pascal Wehrlein says he hopes that Manor will place a competitive driver alongside him for the 2016 season, as discussions…

    F1
  22. Moreno joins Aguri as reserve driver 09:18

    Moreno joins Aguri as reserve driver

    Ecuadorian racer Julio Moreno has joined Team Aguri as its Formula E reserve driver. Moreno, 20, last year contested FIA…

    FE
  23. MotoGP publishes final 2016 calendar 09:09

    MotoGP publishes final 2016 calendar

    MotoGP organisers have issued a final version of the 2016 calendar, with the Jerez and Brno rounds now fully confirmed, after…

    MotoGP
  24. Video of the Day: Drivers on Phoenix return 05:23

    Video of the Day: Drivers on Phoenix return

    Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya reflect on their recent test session at the Phoenix International…

    Indy
  25. Wednesday 10 February 2016

  26. Wehrlein to use number 94 in Formula 1 14:32

    Wehrlein to use number 94 in Formula 1

    Manor's Pascal Wehrlein will use #94 as his permanent race number in Formula 1. Wehrlein, whose Formula 1 graduation was…

    F1
  27. Background: Who is Pascal Wehrlein? 13:28

    Background: Who is Pascal Wehrlein?

    Pascal Wehrlein becomes the second rookie on the Formula 1 grid for the 2016 season after confirmation of his deal with Manor…

    F1
  28. Manor tips Wehrlein to make 'big impact' 11:35

    Manor tips Wehrlein to make 'big impact'

    Pascal Wehrlein has the talent to make a "big impact" with Manor Racing during his debut season in Formula 1, according to the…

    F1
  29. Manor confirms Wehrlein for 2016 season 11:11

    Manor confirms Wehrlein for 2016 season

    Manor Racing has confirmed that DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein will make his Formula 1 debut with the squad in 2016, meaning…

    F1
  30. Video: Red Bull drivers spur a stampede 10:06

    Video: Red Bull drivers spur a stampede

    Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat spur a stampede in this video for clothing partner Puma.

    F1
  31. Redding: 2016 'make or break' year 09:46

    Redding: 2016 'make or break' year

    Pramac rider Scott Redding has described 2016 as a "make or break" year for his future in MotoGP, as the Briton prepares for a…

    MotoGP
  32. 'Wehrlein secures F1 seat with Manor' 08:52

    'Wehrlein secures F1 seat with Manor'

    DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein has landed a seat at Manor for the 2016 season, with a deal to be announced shortly, according to…

    F1
  33. Video of the Day: Suzuki Sepang review 05:27

    Video of the Day: Suzuki Sepang review

    Suzuki riders Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró review the opening pre-season test in Malaysia.

    MotoGP
  34. Tuesday 9 February 2016

  35. New McLaren passes FIA crash tests 15:57

    New McLaren passes FIA crash tests

    McLaren's new Formula 1 car, the Honda-powered MP4-31, has passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests ahead of pre-season testing…

    F1
  36. 15:43

    Photos: Australian Grand Prix photocall

    F1
  37. MotoGP reveals Baz test crash data 14:02

    MotoGP reveals Baz test crash data

    MotoGP has revealed the full telemetry data from Loris Baz's frightening 290km/h pre-season testing accident at Sepang, with the…

    MotoGP
  38. Video: Rémi Taffin outlines Renault task 12:16

    Video: Rémi Taffin outlines Renault task

    Renault Engine Technical Director Rémi Taffin outlines the task ahead of the company on its works return.

    F1
  39. In photos: Magnussen's journey to Renault 11:20

    In photos: Magnussen's journey to Renault

    Last week, Kevin Magnussen's return to Formula 1 was confirmed, with the Dane securing a seat at the works Renault team. In this…

    F1
  40. Palmer: Maldonado 'not a bad driver' 10:06

    Palmer: Maldonado 'not a bad driver'

    Jolyon Palmer has defended Pastor Maldonado's abilities behind the wheel after the Venezuelan lost his Formula 1 drive at…

    F1
  41. Mercedes expects 'big gains' at McLaren 09:27

    Mercedes expects 'big gains' at McLaren

    World Champion team Mercedes says that it approaches the 2016 season expecting to be beaten by Ferrari, and has also described…

    F1
  42. Taffin: Renault integration will take time 08:52

    Taffin: Renault integration will take time

    Renault's Engine Technical Director Rémi Taffin says it will take time for the two sides of the reformed outfit to work…

    F1
  43. Video of the Day: Ocon reflects on F3 05:12

    Video of the Day: Ocon reflects on F3

    Newly appointed Renault reserve driver Esteban Ocon reflects on his title-winning F3 campaign in 2014.

    F3
  44. Monday 8 February 2016

  45. Sauber's new car passes crash tests 16:23

    Sauber's new car passes crash tests

    Sauber's new Formula 1 challenger, the C35, has passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests, clearing it for pre-season testing…

    F1
more news