Sebastian Vettel Makes A Dream Run to Take Pole at Monza GP

Benedict EchavezCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2008

With the Formula 1 world a-flutter after Belgium's controversial outcome, the Monza Gran Prix will be interesting indeed.

This week's qualifying session in Monza presented tricky conditions, akin to the rain-soaked final laps of last week's race in Belgium. Drivers with excellent wet weather car control got their chance to shine. Here's a recap of the qualifying action:


With less than optimal conditions, all drivers had to tiptoe through the course. With low downforce, no traction control, poor visibilty and a slick track, there were numerous spins and course-offs. Times were negated as some drivers had to cut corners and take run-off areas due to the slippery conditions. Heikki Kovalainen took an early lead, showing much speed in the wet and besting his teammate in the first qualifying session. Despite the light rain, a semi-dry line began to appear on some parts of the track, improving times. Drivers knocked out (in order): Barrichello, Piquet, Nakajima, Button, and Sutil.


The rain picked up going into Q2. Some drivers (such as Hamilton) had been contemplating making the switch to intermediate wet tires, but the weather and track conditions did not improve. Sebastian Vettel, showing good pace, lead the field for the majority of Q2, snatching the top time away from Kovalainen. Surprisingly, both Hamilton and Raikkonen were at the bottom of the knock out list for all of the second session, the soaked conditions and intermediate tire gamble proving too much to overcome for the championship points leader. Knocked out after Q2: Kubica, Fisichella, Coulthard, Raikkonen, Hamilton.


After the surprising Q2 results, Felipe Massa, who just barely squeaked out of Q2, carried the hopes of Ferrari at thier home event, with Heikki Kovalainen left to represent McLaren Mercedes at the front of the field, as he qualified 2nd. Sebastian Vettel yet again topped the time charts at the beginning of Q3. Surprisingly he held his own, and went on to take P1 (becoming the youngest driver ever to take pole, snatching the title away from Alonso.) Both Scuderia Torro Rosso cars ran very well in the wet, with Bourdais qualifying 4th.

The field for Sunday's race is as follows:

  1. Sebastian Vettel
  2. Heikki Kovalainen
  3. Mark Webber
  4. Sebastien Bourdais
  5. Nico Rosberg
  6. Felipe Massa
  7. Jarno Trulli
  8. Fernando Alonso
  9. Timo Glock
  10. Nick Heidfeld
  11. Robert Kubica
  12. Giancarlo Fisichella
  13. David Coulthard
  14. Kimi Raikkonen
  15. Lewis Hamilton
  16. Ruebens Barrichello
  17. Nelson Piquet
  18. Kazuki Nakajima
  19. Jenson Button
  20. Adrian Sutil

Ironically, Ferrari was out-qualified by its customer cars. The championship has yet again been shaken up, with Hamilton's uncharacteristically low qualifying position. Massa, who would've no doubt wanted to qualify higher has to battle it out from sixth position. After all the qualifying surprises, the Monza GP is shaping up to be quite interesting.