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Qualifying analysis - flying Vettel springs a surprise at Monza 10 Sep 2011

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Lotus Renault GP R31 steering wheel.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing MVR-02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) HRT Formula One Team HRT F111. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) HRT Formula 1 Team HRT F111.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 10 September 2011 Pirelli tyres.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday’s Italian race from pole. Given that it’s Vettel’s tenth of the season, his success at Monza on Saturday shouldn’t come as surprise. But it does, as his team was expected to struggle at the Italian track. We take a team-by-team look at how all the runners performed…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 22.275s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 22.972s, P5

Vettel admitted that he was surprised by the margin of his pole position superiority over the McLarens, which had looked quick all weekend, but said that part of the reason was his RB7’s excellent balance. And he said that Red Bull’s ‘racey’ approach - ie very low downforce - should stand them in good stead for the race. Webber confessed that his run plan wasn’t that clear as he ended up doing only one qualifying run in Q3. And added that he didn’t get enough out of the tyres. He also had a KERS problem, which further put pressure on his crew.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 22.725s, P2
Jenson Button, 1m 22.777s, P3

Both drivers seemed competitive with Vettel after their first Q3 runs, but both aborted their second. Button said his just wasn’t going to be fast enough, Hamilton that he had locked a front wheel going into the second chicane which rendered the run fruitless. But both believe they are in good shape for the race with a similar aero set-up to Red Bull.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 22.841s, P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 23.188s, P6

Alonso admitted that he has been struggling to balance the Ferrari all weekend, and that fourth was no surprise after taking that place several times this year. But he said it was a good starting position from which to challenge for the podium even if the win is likely out of reach. Massa said he got a good early tow from Schumacher but then slightly overcooked the second chicane and one of the Lesmos, which potentially lost him a couple of grid places. Like Alonso, he does not expect to be in contention for victory.

Renault
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 23.530s, P7
Bruno Senna, No time, P10

Petrov was delighted with a great performance that netted him seventh on the grid ahead of the Mercedes, especially as there had been aero problems to resolve in FP3. Senna just got into Q3 again after beating Di Resta in the dying seconds, but did not run in the final session in order to save tyres.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 23.777s, P8
Nico Rosberg, 1m 24.477s, P9

Qualifying appeared to be disappointing for Mercedes, but they were being canny about tyre management for the race. Schumacher did his one lap on soft Pirellis and thus saved a new set for the race, while Rosberg qualified on the medium tyre and saved two sets of softs, so things aren’t as bad as they looked.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 24.163s, P11
Adrian Sutil, 1m 24.209s, P12

Di Resta was very unlucky not to make it into Q3 after being bumped by six-thousandths of a second by Senna right at the end of Q2. Sutil said he had an uneventful session, and they go into the race hopeful of adding to the team’s points score.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 24.648s, P13
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 24.726s, P14

Barrichello said his FW33 just wasn’t fast enough, while after losing time in FP3 with a KERS problem Maldonado dropped his car on his first hard lap in Q1 as he deployed his DRS exiting Parabolica and crashed into the barriers, wiping off the front wing. Later he got going again, and they qualified 13th and 14th respectively, giving rise to hope of much-needed points.

Sauber
Sergio Perez, 1m 24.845s, P15
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 25.065s, P17

The Saubers just weren’t fast enough when it came down to it, but both Perez and Kobayashi felt they had got everything out of the car that it had to give in its Monza configuration.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 24.932, P16
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 25.334s, P6

Buemi said he was satisfied to get ahead of his team mate at last this weekend, but Alguersuari admitted that his best Q1 lap just wasn’t good enough.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 1m 26.647s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 27.184s, P20

Trulli was very happy to get the Hungarian GP power-steering system back on his T128 and said he got everything out of the car. Kovalainen said his car felt good but that he struggled to get a time out of it for reasons that were not immediately apparent.

Virgin
Timo Glock, 1m 27.591s, P21
Jerome D’Ambrosio, 1m 27.609s, P22

Glock said that a problem with his rear wing staying in the open low-drag position, then closing of its own accord, left him with a disappointing Q1 session, while D’Ambrosio in the older specification VR-02 was generally happy with his runs.

HRT
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 28.054s, P23
Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1m 28.231s, P24

Ricciardo said he was very satisfied to have given it everything he had and to outqualify team mate Liuzzi, who said that he had no complaints about his HRT but missed out on a slipstream run behind another car that would have helped him to match the Australian.

Pirelli
Tyre suppliers Pirelli believe the soft tyre was just under a second per lap faster than the medium compound and expect most drivers to stop twice in the race.

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