Formula One

 
          === Hamilton leads McLaren romp in Italian GP qualifying ===
 
 Monza,  Italy (Sports  Network)  - Lewis  Hamilton claimed  the  pole for  the
 Italian  Grand Prix, while his teammate and British compatriot, Jenson Button,
 qualified second to give McLaren the front row for Sunday's race in Monza.
 
 Hamilton  turned  a lap  around the  3.6-mile, 11-turn Monza  road course in 1
 minute,  24.010 seconds for  his fourth pole of the season and the 23rd of his
 Formula  One  career. He also won  the pole here  in 2009 but finished 12th in
 that race.
 
 "It's  been a tough weekend, but we've managed to work on the setup," Hamilton
 said.  "The (team) has  done a fantastic job. I managed to a get a half-decent
 lap  at  the end of Q3,  so I'm pretty happy.  It's great for the team to have
 Jenson and me up front."
 
 Hamilton  is  coming off  a disappointing 23rd-place  finish in last weekend's
 Belgian  Grand Prix.  He was involved in a multi-car crash triggered by Lotus'
 Romain Grosjean on the opening lap. Hamilton has yet to win the Italian GP.
 
 Button,  who  started on the pole  and led all 44  laps to win the Belgian GP,
 posted  a lap  in 1:24.133. It's the  third time this season that both McLaren
 drivers start on the front row.
 
 "For  us  to be on the  front row, it's  fantastic for the team," Button said.
 "The  last  few races have really  shown our strength. Qualifying on the front
 row  for the both of  us is great, and I don't know if any other team has been
 able to do it this year."
 
 Felipe  Massa  from Ferrari qualified  third for the  team's home race. It was
 Massa's best qualifying finish since June 2011 in the Canadian Grand Prix.
 
 "I'm happy with the lap I did," Massa said. "I'm happy to be here. It's always
 an important race for us (Ferrari) here at Monza."
 
 Massa's teammate, Fernando Alonso, will start 10th after experiencing an issue
 with  his  rear sway bar  during the final  qualifying segment. Alonso had the
 quickest  laps in the first two segments before he fell off the pace in Q3. He
 enters this race with a 24-point lead in the world championship standings.
 
 "I think I could have got pole today, but instead, I find myself 10th," Alonso
 said.  It's  a real shame,  because the car was  very strong. But these things
 happen."
 
 Paul  di Resta from Force India qualified fourth but received a five-spot grid
 penalty  for an  unscheduled gearbox change prior to qualifying. Di Resta will
 therefore start ninth.
 
 Michael  Schumacher  from Mercedes  placed fifth,  while Sebastian Vettel, who
 started  on the pole  and won last year's Italian GP, was sixth in qualifying.
 Vettel's  Red  Bull teammate, Mark Webber,  failed to advance into Q3 and will
 start 11th.
 
 Sunday's 53-lap Italian GP is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. (ET).
 
 
 09/08 12:50:52 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.