Raikkonen Quickest, Montoya on Pole

Juan Pablo Montoya secured his first ever pole position for McLaren in Saturday's qualifying session at Monza to hand his team a vital advantage for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix

Raikkonen Quickest, Montoya on Pole

It was all down to Montoya after title challenger Kimi Raikkonen's appalling bad luck continued before a wheel was turned in the qualifying session when McLaren were forced to change the Mercedes engine in his car.

And Montoya, who joined McLaren at the start of the season, made no mistakes as he eased to a lap of 1:21.054 to ensure championship leaders Renault and Fernando Alonso were kept off the top spot.

Raikkonen, who was out last in the session, will have modified his strategy for the race because of the change but he was still able to post the fastest time of the session and put himself 11th on the grid with the 10-position penalty.

That means Alonso will still start on the front row after setting a time 0.265 seconds slower than Montoya that put him third in the session and just ahead of BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button.

Button's teammate Takuma Sato finished fifth fastest just ahead of Toyota driver Jarno Trulli in sixth with World Champion Michael Schumacher having to settle for seventh place in his Ferrari team's home Grand Prix.

Rubens Barrichello, his Ferrari teammate, backed him up in eighth place with Giancarlo Fisichella a disappointing ninth for Renault and Ralf Schumacher completing the top ten in the second Toyota.

Antonio Pizzonia, who raced at Monza last year as a replacement for the injured Ralf Schumacher, was back in the Williams cockpit to fill in for the injured Nick Heidfeld and was the first man out on track but he finished 16th.

Suffering from a lack of preparation time having been drafted in just before the morning practice, Pizzonia set a time of 1:23.291 but his teammate Mark Webber bettered that by seven tenths of a second and ended the session 14th.

Sauber driver Felipe Massa failed to trouble Webber then Michael Schumacher, after locking up at the first chicane where he went off in practice, set an impressive pace in the rest of his lap to take the top spot by eight tenths.

Ralf Schumacher was the next man to trouble the leaders as he slotted into second in his Toyota then former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve attacked his lap and finished third, just ahead of Webber, with ten cars gone.

Barrichello then put the two Ferraris on the provisional front row, to the delight of the Tifosi crowd, when he slotted into second place but Sato spoiled the party immediately when he went top by a quarter of a second.

Trulli almost made it into top spot on his flying lap but he had to settle for second, with five cars left to go, after a disappointing final sector let him down overall.

Button then went ahead with a superb lap to put himself one tenth ahead of Sato and leave BAR-Honda with a front-row lock-out with the two Renaults and two McLarens left to run.

Fisichella made a mistake at the first chicane and went over the kerbs and ended up with a time only good enough for sixth place then Montoya went out to set a time for McLaren that Alonso could not beat.

Finn Raikkonen, who trails current title race leader Alonso by 24 points, was forced to change his engine before qualifying at the French Grand Prix in July and the British race that followed one week later.

Raikkonen finished fastest in both of the morning practice sessions on Saturday and he will be hoping his impressive pace advantage will enable him to still fight through the field for victory on Sunday.

Pos       Driver        Team                   Time
 1.  (20) Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:20.878 *
 2.  (18) Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:21.054 + 0.176
 3.  (19) Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:21.319 + 0.441
 4.  (16) Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:21.369 + 0.491
 5.  (12) Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:21.477 + 0.599
 6.  (15) Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:21.640 + 0.762
 7.   (4) M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:21.721 + 0.843
 8.  (11) Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  1:21.962 + 1.084
 9.  (17) Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:22.068 + 1.190
10.   (9) R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:22.266 + 1.388
11.  (14) Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:22.304 + 1.426
12.  (10) Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:22.356 + 1.478
13.  (13) Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:22.532 + 1.654
14.   (2) Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:22.560 + 1.682
15.   (3) Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:23.060 + 2.182
16.   (1) Pizzonia      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:23.291 + 2.413
17.   (6) Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:24.666 + 3.788
18.   (8) Doornbos      Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:24.904 + 4.026
19.   (7) Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:25.859 + 4.981
20.   (5) Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:26.964 + 6.086

* Will drop 10 places due to engine change
shares
comments
Michelin Critical of Single Tyre Proposal
Previous article

Michelin Critical of Single Tyre Proposal

Next article

Dennis: Raikkonen can Still Win

Dennis: Raikkonen can Still Win
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022