Vettel dominates to take pole in Italy

Sebastian Vettel drives his Red Bull Renault around Monza Circuit Saturday afternoon for his fourth pole of the season.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

MONZA, Italy- R.I.S.- After dominating the entire Friday and Saturday of taking fastest practice sessions, Sebastian Vettel moved closer to extending his lead in the formula one world championship by taking a recorded 1:23:755 fastest lap to achieve pole position for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Italy at Monza.

For Vettel, it was his fourth pole of the season and his 40th of his career. Mark Webber took second to make it an all Red Bull racing front row, while Nico Hulkenberg surprised many by qualifying in third with his Sauber.

“It is a special track and it is great to be here.” Stated Vettel afterwards. “This weekend the car was fantastic and it is better than we expected.”

Vettel proved right from the beginning that is was a better weekend as he continued his fastest times of the week by having the best time of the opening session with a 1:34:319. The usual bottom qualifiers did not shake up much of the grid, but Williams Pastor Maldonado just barely made the next session by crossing the line right before time lapsed.

Vettel improved his time over the next session with a 1:23:977 best time, but Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean failed to advance as well as Lewis Hamilton, who ends his streak of four consecutive poles this season.

In the final session, Webber began the run with his best time so far this weekend, while both Ferrari’s of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could not match the Australian’s best lap. Hulkenberg found plenty of room to take his best grid qualifying position of his season in third until Vettel came across the line for pole with a time of 1:23:755, to break Hamilton’s streak, giving the German his fourth pole of the year.

Massa and Alonso took fourth and fifth for Ferrari, while Nico Rosberg was sixth in his Mercedes. Daniel Riccardo, who will be taking over Webber’s spot at Red Bull next season was seventh, while both McLaren’s of Sergio Perez and Jenson Button were eighth and ninth respectively. Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top ten despite going off the track at the Parabolica on his last lap.

Vettel knows that he can spoil Ferrari’s home race after doing so well this week, but possible rain tomorrow might change the outcome, and the three time world champion continued to be very neutral about his chances.

“We had two great runs and this year was good and we should have a good race tomorrow.” He said.

Mark Gero

A 12 year veteran writer who has covered race weekends for RIS for three years. Also did the same for

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Volume 2013, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 09.07.2013