Saturday, September 12, 2009
ITALIAN GP 2009 QUALIFYING
That was one of the tightest qualifying ever. It was bright and sunny in Monza, a perfect day for getting the tyres up to temperature and pushing the car through Parabolica. McLaren did an excellent strategy and both cars got into the groove pretty easily and quickly in every session. Q3 was the most interesting as Lewis did a fast 2 lap run on the soft tyres to make sure he stayed near the top and then with a few minutes remaining changed to the harder tyres for the banzai lap that got him the pole from Sutil. He was surprised though at his pace.
And talking about Sutil, what a performance. He was on fire the whole day and would have gotten pole if not for a small mistake in the last lap. In fact, the situation tells us a few facts about the current balance of power. It seems that Force Indis has found the sweet spot on their car since Spa. It has performed incredibly fast and well balanced. Not only was Sutil fast without KERS (a he managed to stay about 2 tenths apart from Lewis) but Liuzzi without testing could bring the car home in 7th.
Both force India cars are in the top 10 and that is great. It shakes up the grid and will give the front runners a fight. I can't wait to watch the race. I wonder if Fisichella is having nightmares now? He must be kicking himself in the ass for leaving Force India when they have a solid car that can compete with the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, Brawn or Red Bull. Imagine being beaten tomorrow by Sutil or not even scoring points while Sutil or even Liuzzi does.
Ferrari is there again hanging at Lewis' coatails. It seems that Kimi is always just behind Lewis. It will be interesting to see how the start pans out tomorrow with 3 KERS cars surrounding Sutil. I have a feeling he will get boxed in before the first turn.
Kovalainnen again is disappointing as he managed 4th in the same car as Lewis. Rosberg although languishing at the back somewhere must be grinning. with him in the other McLaren, not only will McLaren score more points as a team but Lewis will be pushed to achieve greater heights.
The Brawns are not a s strong as expected on a hot track today but they are just within reach so I'd not bet against them. Also Alonso as he has the KERS on his car this weekend. The Red Bulls were disappointing but it was expected as they have very little engines left and have to conserve them. a shame really as I wanted to see Vettel finish strongly this season. A stupid regulation scuppered his hopes and a fantastic battle ahead.
Surprising also was a double engine blow up for BMW. Both cars ended up in the midfield. And the worst of the pack was Williams with both cars at the back of the grid. Toyota also not looking good, doesn't bode well for their continued participation in F1.
All in all, an exciting qualifying because lewis was fighting a Force India for pole and pole was grabbed after the flag was thrown. The race is gonna be a cracker.
01 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:24.066
02 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:24.261
03 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:24.523
04 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:24.845
05 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:25.015
06 J. Button Brawn GP 1:25.030
07 V. Liuzzi Force India F1 1:25.043
08 F. Alonso Renault 1:25.072
09 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:25.180
10 M. Webber Red Bull 1:25.314
11 J. Trulli Toyota 1:23.611
12 R. Grosjean Renault 1:23.728
13 R. Kubica BMW 1:23.866
14 G. Fisichella Ferrari 1:23.901
15 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:24.275
16 T. Glock Toyota 1:24.036
17 K. Nakajima Williams 1:24.074
18 N. Rosberg Williams 1:24.121
19 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:24.220
20 J. Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:24.951