Qualifying - spectacular Vettel makes Red Bull's day in Monza 10 Sep 2011
The final laps of Q3 during Saturday's qualifying in taly saw both McLaren drivers choosing to abort their second runs, and the big improvement from Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel went a little unnoticed in the drama.
After the first runs Vettel had been quickest with 1m 22.613s from McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton on 1m 22.725s and Jenson Button on 1m 22.777s. But on his second run the defending world champion trimmed half a second off, to take a spectular pole in 1m 22.275s.
At the same time, Fernando Alonso improved to 1m 22.841s to take fourth for Ferrari, ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber on 1m 22.972s and team mate Felipe Massa on 1m 23.188s. Vitaly Petrov was seventh for the improved Renault squad with 1m 23.530s, but Mercedes had a disappointing session; Michael Schumacher was eighth on 1m 23.777s and Nico Roberg had a troubled time and was only ninth with 1m 24.477s.
Q2 had brought last-moment joy for Renault and disappointment for Force ndia as Bruno Senna posted 1m 24.157s to dislodge Paul di Resta from 10th place, but the Brazilian did not go out in Q3 so will start 10th.
Di Restas lap of 1m 24.163s thus left him 11th ahead of team mate Adrian Sutils 1m 24.209s, then came the Williamses of Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado on 1m 24.648s and 1m 24.726s. The Venezuelans qualifying had got off to a poor start when he spun exiting Parabolica in Q1 and took off his FW33s front wing.
Sergio Perez was 15th as Saubers form waned, the Mexican lapping in 1m 24.845s compared to team mate Kamui Kobayashis 1m 25.065s. Between them, Sebastien Buemi took 16th on 1m 24.932s.
Jaime Alguersuari has generally been ahead of Toro Rosso team mate Buemi this weekend, but the Swiss driver turned the tables when it mattered to squeeze into Q2, as the Spaniards 1m 25.334s lap left him only 18th.
Behind him, Jarno Trulli was still in control at Lotus, with 1m 26.647s to Heikki Kovalainens 1m 27.184s, while Timo Glock got the newer-spec Virgin working better for 1m 27.591s as Jerome dAmbrosio took his standard car round in 1m 27.609s.
At the back, Daniel Ricciardo got the better of Tonio Liuzzi at HRT, 1m 28.054s to 1m 28.231s.
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