F1: Tough Italian Grand Prix ahead for Hamilton at Monza

PUBLISHED: 10:41 12 September 2010 | UPDATED: 12:25 12 September 2010

F1 star Lewis Hamilton [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

F1 star Lewis Hamilton [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]


FORMULA 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton faces a damage limitation exercise in today’s 2010 Santander Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The Herts-born McLaren Mercedes driver will start today’s race from the third row after wrongly going in qualifying without the MP4-25’s F-duct rear wing.

Hamilton admitted it was a mistake after seeing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso snatch pole position in front of the Tifosi, with McLaren’s reigning F1 world champion Jenson Button second on the grid.

Lewis, meanwhile, will start from fifth place behind Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and Red Bull’s Mark Webber – his closest title challenger – and alongside Sebastian Vettel.

He acknowledges it will be a difficult afternoon around the famous Monza circuit. Speaking after qualifying on Saturday, he said: “For tomorrow’s race, I’ll have good top speed, but the car is going to be sliding through the corners, so I won’t be able to follow closely enough through the corners to try and pass, so it’ll be tough.

Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren garage [Picture courtesy of www.mclaren.com]

“Today [Saturday] wasn’t my best qualifying performance of the season, but we’ll still push like crazy tomorrow and fight for some good points from the third row. It looks like it’ll be a tough race.”

While Hamilton was left to rue a disappointing qualifying result, team-mate Button was delighted to bag a front-row start to revive his hopes of back-to-back world titles.

Button said: “It will be an incredible battle at the front, but, starting from the front row, my aim must be for a victory.

“A win here would be very important; I’ve got the world championship trophy at home – and I want it to stay there!”

2010 Italian Grand Prix Qualifying Result

1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1m21.962

2 Jenson Button (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) 1m22.084

3 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1m22.293

4 Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) 1m22.433

5 Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) 1m22.623

6 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) 1m22.675

7 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m23.027

8 Nico Hülkenberg (Williams-Cosworth) 1m23.037

9 Robert Kubica (Renault) 1m23.039

10 Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth) 1m23.328

He added: “I’ve felt very happy all weekend running the higher of our two downforce packages. The car has felt very good and I’ve been comfortable with the stability of the rear.

“Over a single lap, the car is good, but its real benefit will be felt in the race, when we should have stronger long-run pace.

“We’re running more downforce than most people; that’ll make it more tricky over the first couple of laps, but we should be more consistent in the race.”

The Italian Grand Prix starts at 1pm British time and is being shown live on BBC1.

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