Gallery: Italian Grand Prix qualifying woe for Hamilton at rain-soaked Monza
PUBLISHED: 17:37 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009
LEWIS Hamilton will start Sunday s Italian Grand Prix from 15th on the grid after the worst qualifying performance of his Formula 1 career. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver from Herts was the biggest casualty of a rain-soaked qualifying session at Mon
LEWIS Hamilton will start Sunday's Italian Grand Prix from 15th on the grid after the worst qualifying performance of his Formula 1 career.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver from Herts was the biggest casualty of a rain-soaked qualifying session at Monza.
While McLaren colleague Heikki Kovalainen battled heavy rain to set the second-fastest time of 1 minute 37.631 seconds, Hamilton didn't even make Q3 for the top 10 drivers.
He will start 15th on the grid after failing to set a quick lap when the session was at its driest and fastest.
His best time in Q2 was a 1 min 39.265 secs.
The 23-year-old from Tewin will start behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, with Sebastian Vettel claiming a surprise pole for the Toro Rosso team.
Hamilton said: "It was a joint decision to go out on wet-weather tyres at the start of Q2, partly mine and partly my engineers'.
"We thought it was the right way to go at the time because it was getting dryer but the grip-level was poor so I came in and switched to extremes.
"By the time I got out, it had begun to rain and I just missed the window when the track was at its fastest.
"It was also very hard to pick out the braking points."
After being stripped of his 'win' at Spa in the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, Hamilton's qualifying woe at a drenched Monza was the last thing he needed.
However, he tried to remain upbeat about his fortunes for tomorrow's race in Ferrari's backyard.
"It's the first time this has happened to me in Formula 1, so I can't really complain," he said.
"Tomorrow's another day and we still have a fighting chance to make our way up the grid.
"I'll be doing the best job I can."
In an unfamiliar looking grid, Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastien Bourdais, the other Toro Rosso driver, form the second row.
Brazilian Felipe Massa, Hamilton's main title rival, starts sixth in his Ferrari behind Williams' Nico Rosberg.
Also ahead of Hamilton are Jarno Trulli's Toyota, Renault's Fernando Alonso, Timo Glock in the other Toyota, BMW duo Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella and David Coulthard in the Red Bull.
The only drivers behind him are Rubens Barrichello, Nelson Piquet, Kazuki Nakajima, Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil.
Hamilton currently leads the World Drivers' Championship by two points from Ferrari's Massa.
There are just four races to go after tomorrow's grand prix in Italy.