Formula One
No prizes for guessing who is on pole
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is on the money in Monza after once again finishing on pole ahead of McLaren teammates.
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2011 14:32
Hamilton and Button have got used to playing second fiddel to Vettel this season [GALLO/GETTY] 

Before qualifying it was believed the Red Bulls would not fair particularly well at the Monza circuit.

Better suited to high-downforce tracks, Red Bull had never before finished on the podium or taken pole at Monza -however, a little thing like this did not get in Sebastian Vettel's way.

The German champion took to his familiar position at the top of the grid after qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday almost half a second clear of his nearest competitor.   

The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were again frustrated by a Red Bull team that they can never quite get the better of in qualifying.

Hamilton and Button both lavished praise on Vettel's driving admitting that the McLarens could not have made up the large time difference between the cars.

"We would not think of going for pole by that big margin today on a track that did not suit us"

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel

Even Vettel himself was surprised by his own margin of supremacy after grabbing the 25th pole position of his career. 

The 24-year-old German drove his Red Bull with great speed and precision to claim his 10th pole this year and maintain the team's perfect record of claiming pole at every race this season.

"I had a bit of an improvement in the first run for my second lap," said Vettel.

"We weren't sure whether the tyres worked best in the first or second lap, but I did a bit of a mistake but we stayed out and focused on the last run only.

"I knew we had a bit more time in the car, I had one or two cars down the road, which always helps at Monza, but surely we would not think of going for pole by that big margin today on a track that did not suit us."

The best of the rest

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will line up alongside the championship leader on the front row with teammate Jenson Button in third place.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, last year's winner from pole position at the fastest track on the calendar, qualified in fourth place in his team's home race.

Mark Webber once again struggled in qualifying - back in fifth - with Ferrari's Felipe Massa sixth.

Vitaly Petrov of Renault qualified seventh and Michael Schumacher of Mercedes, who won this race a record five times when he was with Ferrari, was eighth after just barely avoiding a first-round elimination in 15th position.

The only significant accident involved Pastor Maldonado, who spun his Williams around at high-speed and lost a front wing during the opening session. But the Venezuelan managed to get back out and into phase two and qualified 14th.

With average speeds of 250 kph(155 mph) and top speeds of 340 kph(211 mph), Monza is the fastest circuit on the calendar, as well as one of the oldest - with the Italian GP one of only four races to have survived from the first year of F1 in 1950.

But the history of the circuit is unlikely to intimidate the youthful ambition of Sebastian Vettel, who just keeps on getting faster.

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