Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ferrari's Home Track Advantage: Alonso Takes Pole for Italian Grand Prix

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

Italian auto racing fans gave a roaring applause Saturday afternoon as their native auto racing team figured prominently. Through overwhelming fashion, Fernando Alonso set top time in the final Q3 qualifying session to place his Ferrari F2010 out front for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Recording a 1 minute, 21.962 second lap to take pole for the 14th race of the 2010 Formula 1 season, Alonso was the only driver in the qualifying session to break the 88-second barrier.

The spanish driver's pole time outpaced the efforts of McLaren-Mercedes pilot and reigning Formula 1 champ Jenson Button mustering a fast lap just 12/100ths of a second slower than the Ferrari. Three seasons ago, Fernando Alonso found success on the Monza circuit when the Spanard briefly drove for the McLaren-Mercedes team. Based on a turbulent time Alonso spent with the British race team, Alonso's pole-sitting accomplishment serves slightly as an act of vengance. Felipe Massa placed 3rd fastest in the qualifying session to make Ferrari the bread in a McLaren sandwich.

Red Bull Racing had an unsually-weak Q3 qualifying round at Monza as Mark Webber was only able to place the typically front row-starting Renault-powered machine outside of the second row. After leading Friday practice, Sebastian Vettel found it most difficult to find enough speed for any more than 8th fastest.

Photo Credit: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic
In 10th place, 2009 Italian Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello is soldiering through the 2010 season with Williams F1. Rookie team mate Nico Hulkenberg bettered the veteran Brazilian with an 8th place run while both Williams cars are likely suffering from a minor power deficet with their Cosworth powerplants compared to the likes of higher-funded, factory-supported teams.

For North American Formula 1 fans, Italian Grand Prix is scheduled for 8 A.M. Eastern time Sunday morning with the Formula 1 event to be televised on TSN live for Canadians and on Speed for American fans.

2010 Formula 1
Italian Grand Prix
Starting Order

1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa Ferrari
4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
8. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
9. Robert Kubica Renault F1
10. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
12. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
13. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari
14. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
15. Vitaly Petrov Renault F1
16. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
17. Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari
18. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth
20. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
22. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
23. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth
24. Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth

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