Alonso takes pole for Italian GP

Updated: 09 September 2007 16:38 IST

McLaren will start from the front at Sunday's Italian GP after Fernando Alonso led teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying on Saturday.

Monza, Italy:

McLaren will start from the front at Sunday's Italian GP after Fernando Alonso led teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying on Saturday.

Two-time defending F1 champion Alonso went round the 5.793-kilometer circuit in 1 minute, 21.997 seconds to clinch his second pole position of the season. Hamilton was second with 1:22.360, giving McLaren the top two starting spots for the fifth time in 13 races.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was third with 1:22.549, followed by BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld with 1:23.174.

"We've been quick all weekend," said Alonso, who was also the fastest in practice. "Hopefully we can take that through to the race tomorrow."

Massa's teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who crashed in Saturday morning's final practice session, could only manage fifth place with 1:23.183.

He was followed by BMW-Sauber's Roberto Kubica with 1:23.446.

Completing the top 10 were Heikki Kovalainen for Renault, Williams' Nico Rosberg, Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Honda's Jenson Button.

With five races left, Alonso, Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen are separated by 16 points in the drivers' standings.

Hamilton leads with 84 points, followed by Alonso with 79, Massa with 69, and Raikkonen with 68.

Raikkonen, who was runner-up in the race last year, slammed into the tire wall in the third and final practice session, forcing him to qualify in the spare car. As a result, he was unable to post a time under 1:22.00, despite being cheered on by Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and former team driver and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who watched from the pitlane.

Japanese drivers Sakon Yamamoto, who drives for Spkyer, and Takuma Sato, who drives for Super Aguri, both skidded off the track during the first qualifying session. Neither was injured, although Yamamoto was forced to pit, after damaging his front end.

Topics : Formula 1 Michael Schumacher Giancarlo Fisichella Jenson Button Narain Karthikeyan Lewis Hamilton
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