Monza - Britain's
2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton showed little emotion when on
Saturday he finally ended championship leader and Mercedes team-mate
Nico Rosberg's supremacy in qualifying by taking pole position for
Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
It was the 29-year-old's first pole
in eight races dating back to the Spanish Grand Prix on May 10 and one
that enhanced his hopes of trimming the German's 29-points lead in the
title race, with seven races remaining.
But, two weekends on from
their collision on the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, neither
Hamilton nor Rosberg was prepared to give vent to his feelings in the
wake of a tense contest of outright pace at one of the sport's ancient
temples of speed.
"I'm very proud of my guys on my side of the
garage," said Hamilton. "They have been through the difficult times with
me. They've done a remarkable job bouncing back, so we've done this as a
team and it's great to have another 1-2 for the team."
on from Rosberg's public apology and 24 hours after the team's final
warning that more misbehaviour might cost them their jobs, it was time
for the team ethic and corporate considerations even if the duo were
battling for advantage in a bitterly-contested title race that has
simmered and exploded this year.
"In the race anything can happen
and we need to work towards the race and get a good strategy and have a
good race," said a clearly crestfallen Rosberg.
"For the team
again, even at a track like Monza, even coming here and being so
dominant.... There's still the race tomorrow, but it's still really
awesome for the team."
Hamilton clocked a best lap of one minute
and 24.109 seconds to take pole by more than two-tenths of a second
ahead of the German, a gulf that endorsed the theory that it is the
Briton who has the greater capacity for natural speed.
battling duo, once allegedly good friends, but hardly good team-mates,
barely acknowledged one another as they climbed from their cars. There
was no handshake and no genuine eye contact.
It was Hamilton's
first pole in four months, his fifth this season and the 36th pole of
his career - a signal that their rivalry motivated him to produce his
Asked about any team instructions for the 53-laps race,
Hamilton said: "Free to race, that's the decision so it continues as
usual. I hope tomorrow will be good. It would be really good to get
another 1-2 for the team.
"I hope we have some competition with
these guys (Williams), too. I think that would be great for the fans. I
feel excited for tomorrow."
Finn Valtteri Bottas was third fastest
ahead of his Williams team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa, the British
team leapfrogging ahead of the rest with a much improved performance
that revived their vintage days.
Like Mercedes' factory outfit, on
row one, and McLaren who filled row three, Williams are a team powered
by Mercedes, the German company thus supplying the engines that took the
top six grid positions.
Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen was fifth
and Briton Jenson Button sixth for McLaren ahead of the leading Ferrari
driven by two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso. His team-mate
Finn Kimi Raikkonen failed to make the top ten shootout after qualifying
Defending four time world champion German Sebastian Vettel
was eighth for Red Bull ahead of his team-mate Australian Daniel
Ricciardo, who on Sunday will bid for a third consecutive victory.
Mexican Sergio Perez was 10th for Force India.
Grid for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix following the final qualifying session on Saturday in Monza:
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams)
Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams)
Kevin Magnussen (DEN/McLaren)
Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari)
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso)
Nico Hlkenberg (GER/Force India)
Adrian Sutil (GER/Sauber)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Sauber)
Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Lotus)
Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus)
Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Caterham)
Jules Bianchi (FRA/Marussia)
Max Chilton (GBR/Marussia)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Caterham)