Monza GP: Hamilton Qualifies 15th—Sebastian Vettel Takes Pole

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Monza GP: Hamilton Qualifies 15th—Sebastian Vettel Takes Pole

Lewis Hamilton's Italian Grand Prix weekend starts in tatters as he doesn't make the cut in Q2 and starts tomorrow's Monza Grand Prix in 15th position.

A soaking wet track saw front-runners, Hamilton, Massa and Kimi Raikkonen all struggle with the conditions, with cars sliding and aqua-planing all over the track.

Lewis starts in 15th with the Ferrari of Raikkonen along side him in 14th.  Fellipe Massa only managed seventh in Q3 but, after some superb driving, Lewis' team-mate Heikki Kovelainen really pulled out some fantastic laps to gain P2 and starts on the front row for tomorrows race.

But, in a very strange qualifying session, Sebastian Vettell gets his and Torro Rosso's first ever pole position after some great driving.

The main turning point for Hamilton came early in Q2 when the McLaren driver and his team decided try Intermediate Bridgestone tires instead of the extreme wets that every other driver was using, however, the choice was made too late as the track just got more and more wet as time went on.  This, crucially, made Lewis the slowest man on the track, with his slowest lap being over 4.5s slower than the pole-sitter and 2.1s slower than the cut-off, P10 position.  Massa, however, only managed to slip through in Q2 getting no higher in the standings that 10th.

How will McLarens problems today, affect Lewis' race tomorrow, Hamilton sits just two-points above Massa in the championship standings after his controversial penalty in Belgium.  Will Raikkonen play a pivotal part in keeping Hamilton down the grid, or will Lewis be able to pull away.  With the reports of a dry race day, only time will tell.  One thing is for certain, Monza will be as entertaining as normal.

Lewis Hamilton's reaction to the session can NOW be found by clicking here

Final starting positions for 'GRAN PREMIO SANTANDER D'ITALIA 2008' are as follows:

1   Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari        
2   Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes        
3   Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault        
4   Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari        
5   Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota        
6   Felipe Massa Ferrari        
7   Jarno Trulli Toyota        
8   Fernando Alonso Renault        
9   Timo Glock Toyota        
10   Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber        
11   Robert Kubica BMW Sauber        
12   Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari        
13   David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault        
14   Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari        
15   Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes        
16   Rubens Barrichello Honda        
17   Nelsinho Piquet Renault        
18   Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota        
19   Jenson Button Honda        
20   Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari

Team StreamTM

Formula 1

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