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 22 May 2017

  2. Motorsport world pays tribute to Hayden 17:37

    Motorsport world pays tribute to Hayden

    Riders and drivers from across motorsport have been paying tribute to Nicky Hayden, following news of his death after a cycling…

    MotoGP
  3. Hayden dies following cycling accident 17:10

    Hayden dies following cycling accident

    World Superbike rider and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has passed away aged 35, as a result of injuries sustained in…

    MotoGP
  4. Button eager for 'slightly surreal' comeback 16:02

    Button eager for 'slightly surreal' comeback

    McLaren-Honda's Jenson Button has described his Monaco Grand Prix comeback as "slightly surreal" as he prepares for his one-off…

    F1
  5. Zarco had 'Qatar flashback' while leading 14:50

    Zarco had 'Qatar flashback' while leading

    Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco says he was reminded of his race-ending Qatar crash while he was leading his home event in…

    MotoGP
  6. Turbo issue behind Bottas' Spain DNF 13:37

    Turbo issue behind Bottas' Spain DNF

    Mercedes has confirmed that a faulty turbo was behind Valtteri Bottas' exit from the Spanish Grand Prix, caused by a previously…

    F1
  7. Monaco 'all about mental strength' - Hamilton 13:07

    Monaco 'all about mental strength' - Hamilton

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says the Monaco Grand Prix is "all about mental strength" as he bids for a third Formula 1…

    F1
  8. Video: Verstappen breaks Zandvoort record 12:49

    Video: Verstappen breaks Zandvoort record

    Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen returns home to the Netherlands and sets the lap record at Zandvoort.

    F1
  9. Alonso felt Indy 500 pole was within reach 11:58

    Alonso felt Indy 500 pole was within reach

    McLaren-Andretti debutant Fernando Alonso believes pole position for the Indianapolis 500 was within his reach, following a…

    Indy
  10. Márquez was 'careful' prior to accident 10:54

    Márquez was 'careful' prior to accident

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez says he was trying to be "careful" before his race-ending crash at the French Grand…

    MotoGP
  11. Vișoiu joins Campos for rest of F2 season 10:16

    Vișoiu joins Campos for rest of F2 season

    Robert Vișoiu has joined Campos for the remainder of the Formula 2 campaign, alongside Ralph Boschung. Vișoiu, 21, claimed…

    F2
  12. Norris 'mega gutted' over Pau GP loss 09:44

    Norris 'mega gutted' over Pau GP loss

    McLaren protégé Lando Norris has described himself as "mega gutted" after he missed out on victory at the Pau Grand Prix due…

    F3
  13. Rossi perplexed by last-lap Le Mans exit 08:42

    Rossi perplexed by last-lap Le Mans exit

    Valentino Rossi says he does not yet understand the cause of his last-lap crash at the French Grand Prix, as his prospects of…

    MotoGP
  14. Video of the Day: Paris ePrix Highlights 05:20

    Video of the Day: Paris ePrix Highlights

    Watch race highlights from Formula E's visit to Paris, as Sébastien Buemi extends his title lead with victory.

    FE
  15. 03:32

    MotoGP standings after French Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  16. Sunday 21 May 2017

  17. Dixon claims third 500 pole, Alonso fifth 23:23

    Dixon claims third 500 pole, Alonso fifth

    Scott Dixon earned his third Indianapolis 500 pole position in thrilling fashion on Sunday, averaging 232.164 mph over four…

    Indy
  18. Guintoli keeps Suzuki ride for Mugello 19:51

    Guintoli keeps Suzuki ride for Mugello

    Sylvain Guintoli will continue to ride for Suzuki at the next round of the MotoGP season in Italy, with Álex Rins not yet fit…

    MotoGP
  19. Davison replaces injured Bourdais at Coyne 19:17

    Davison replaces injured Bourdais at Coyne

    Dale Coyne has announced that James Davison will fill in for the injured Sébastien Bourdais for the remainder of the…

    Indy
  20. Günther wins at Pau after Norris crash 17:37

    Günther wins at Pau after Norris crash

    Maximilian Günther profited from Lando Norris crashing out of the lead to claim victory at the Pau Grand Prix for Prema…

    F3
  21. Viñales 'gave everything' for Le Mans success 17:17

    Viñales 'gave everything' for Le Mans success

    Maverick Viñales says he "gave everything" possible as he triumphed at the French Grand Prix, following a pair of last-lap…

    MotoGP
  22. Harding plans Texas, Pocono IndyCar runs 16:50

    Harding plans Texas, Pocono IndyCar runs

    Harding Racing is set to add two further IndyCar events to its 2017 schedule as it bids to capture a full-time entry into the…

    Indy
  23. Bourdais 'better than expected' after crash 16:31

    Bourdais 'better than expected' after crash

    Sébastien Bourdais has undergone successful surgery and is doing "better than expected" after his ferocious crash during first…

    Indy
  24. Feature: When Bianchi starred in Monaco 15:00

    Feature: When Bianchi starred in Monaco

    In 2014, one of Formula 1's rising stars at the time, Jules Bianchi, produced a standout drive around the streets of Monte-Carlo…

    F1
  25. 13:52

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Le Mans

    MotoGP
  26. 13:50

    In full: French Grand Prix race results

    MotoGP
  27. Viñales victorious after last-lap Rossi errors 13:48

    Viñales victorious after last-lap Rossi errors

    Maverick Viñales claimed victory at an incredible French Grand Prix, after leader Valentino Rossi went wide on the final lap…

    MotoGP
  28. 12:30

    Starting grid for the French Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  29. Hayden 'very critical, clinical picture unchanged' 11:38

    Hayden 'very critical, clinical picture unchanged'

    Nicky Hayden remains in a "very critical" condition in hospital in Italy, following his cycle accident on Wednesday. Hayden…

    MotoGP
  30. Smith: Midfield slot will aid KTM progress 10:06

    Smith: Midfield slot will aid KTM progress

    Bradley Smith reckons KTM's mid-grid start at the French Grand Prix will boost the manufacturer's development curve, after the…

    MotoGP
  31. Aspar continues with Ducati for 2018 09:35

    Aspar continues with Ducati for 2018

    Aspar has announced that it will continue to use Ducati's bikes in MotoGP next season, and will decide on which specification to…

    MotoGP
  32. Viñales 'confident' over race prospects 09:22

    Viñales 'confident' over race prospects

    Maverick Viñales says he and Yamaha can be "confident" over its prospects at the French Grand Prix, with the Spaniard poised to…

    MotoGP
  33. Video: Indianapolis 500 qualifying highlights 08:44

    Video: Indianapolis 500 qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights from the first day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, as Ed Carpenter winds up quickest.

    Indy
  34. Bourdais sustains 'multiple fractures' in crash 08:37

    Bourdais sustains 'multiple fractures' in crash

    Dale Coyne driver Sébastien Bourdais has been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip…

    Indy
  35. Video of the Day: Strapping in an F1 driver 05:36

    Video of the Day: Strapping in an F1 driver

    Esteban Ocon's front end mechanic, Harry Rush, shows us how to strap a Formula 1 driver in their seat.

    F1
  36. 00:06

    In full: Indy 500 qualifying Day 1 results

    Indy
  37. Carpenter quickest, Alonso makes Fast Nine 00:04

    Carpenter quickest, Alonso makes Fast Nine

    Ed Carpenter clocked the quickest time during a delayed and disrupted Saturday qualifying session for this year's running of the…

    Indy
  38. Saturday 20 May 2017

  39. Miller 'lucky' in high-speed Le Mans crash 18:22

    Miller 'lucky' in high-speed Le Mans crash

    Marc VDS rider Jack Miller has accepted that he was "lucky" to escape uninjured after he suffered a terrifying crash in the…

    MotoGP
  40. Lorenzo 'didn't feel safe' in slippery conditions 17:22

    Lorenzo 'didn't feel safe' in slippery conditions

    Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo has accepted that inclement weather conditions were partly to blame for his lowly grid spot at the…

    MotoGP
  41. Wet weather delays Indy 500 qualifying 16:46

    Wet weather delays Indy 500 qualifying

    Saturday's first qualifying session for the Indianapolis 500 has been placed on an indefinite delay, due to inclement weather at…

    Indy
  42. 16:22

    Latest Formula E photos: Paris ePrix

    FE
  43. Dominant Buemi extends FE lead in Paris 16:21

    Dominant Buemi extends FE lead in Paris

    Reigning Formula E Champion Sébastien Buemi extended his title advantage as he delivered a home victory for Renault e.dams…

    FE
more news