Saturday, 12 September 2009

Formula1: Hamilton storms to Italian pole

Lewis Hamilton produced a stunning late lap to snatch pole position for the Italian Grand Prix in his McLaren.
The world champion stormed to a time of one minute 24.066 seconds to wrestle the position from Force India's Adrian Sutil, who was 0.195secs behind.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen followed in third ahead of Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and the Brawn cars of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.
Red Bull pair Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber managed only ninth and 10th.
However, with the top 10 appearing to differ between one- and two-stop strategies, a fascinating race looks to be in prospect.
Hamilton will run on a two-stop strategy, and his lighter fuel load paid dividends as he ran a late flying lap to pip Sutil - who himself had only just posted a lap of 1:24.261 - into second spot.
As expected, both the McLarens and Ferrari's leading driver Kimi Raikkonen were boosted by their Kers system, with Monza boasting a full-throttle percentage of up to 70%, and the Finn gave the tifosi something to cheer in securing a second-row spot ahead of compatriot Kovalainen.
But the happiest team on the grid could well be the Brawns - with Button looking to have found his form again having watched his drivers' championship lead cut to 16 points after five races without a podium finish.
Team boss Ross Brawn confirmed after the race that both the Briton and team-mate Barrichello were on a one-stop strategy, adding: "We are very happy with our positions especially because of our strategy.
"To start fifth and sixth is great. I suppose the one potential drawback is that we might get tangled up, but there are escape routes up at the first turn and the Kers cars are ahead of us, so it's a pretty perfect position to be honest."
More to follow

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