Saturday, 7 September 2013
Sebastian Vettel secures 40th career pole in Monza as Lewis Hamilton drives 'like an idiot'
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel will start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after posting the fastest time in qualifying Saturday, while Lewis Hamilton's bid for a fifth straight pole ended in disappointment and Fernando Alonso also had a difficult session.
Vettel has won the Italian GP twice and will be hard to stop after securing his 40th career pole in impressive fashion. The three-time defending champion will share the front row with teammate Mark Webber.
"Bit of a surprise to have both cars on the front row in a place where historically we've had bad years," said Vettel, whose win here in 2011 remains Red Bull's only podium at Monza. "Hopefully we'll have good race tomorrow, too. It was a tough session but we managed to get through and get a great result."
Alonso needed a strong performance but finished fifth behind his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa and Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg, who was a surprising third.
Hamilton placed a lowly 12th in his Mercedes for his worst performance since last year's Spanish GP, while Kimi Raikkonen also recorded his poorest qualifying run of the campaign in 11th.
"I just drove like an idiot. That's the worst I've driven for a long, long time. I'm sorry to the team," Hamilton said. "I just didn't drive well. There's not really much more to say. I was quick in Q1 and then, I don't know."
Vettel earned the first of his 31 career victories in Monza in 2008 with Toro Rosso and won here from pole two years ago. Rain is expected for Sunday, and that may be his rivals' best hope to challenge the German, given the pace he showed all day Saturday and most of Friday.