The McLarens stormed to an impressive front-row lock-out in qualifying for the 2012 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix and will be hoping to repeat that dominant performance for the main race. The Woking-based team has been in good form all through this weekend, with both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button posting top times through the three practice sessions.
Meanwhile, the weekend has become a whole lot more difficult for the Ferrari team, after championship leader Fernando Alonso suffered broken bodywork on his F2012 during Q3. The Spaniard could manage only tenth and final place in the third session, after posting fastest times in the first two. The good news for the Italian outfit, who are racing in what is their home Grand Prix, is that Alonso's team mate, Felipe Massa, will start third on the grid, alongside former Ferrari driver and seven time world champion Michael Schumacher. Massa's pace at the top suggests that had Alonso not suffered mechanical damage, he may well have been challenging Hamilton for pole.
Further down the revised starting grid (after penalties to William's Pastor Maldonado and Force India's Paul di Resta), defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull starts fifth and Schumacher's Mercedes' team mate, Nico Rosberg, will be sixth. Seventh place goes to Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus-Renault and eighth to Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber. Force India's di Resta will start ninth and Alonso tenth.
Provision Grid for Italian Grand Prix (Top Ten)
- Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)
- Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)
- Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
- Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
- Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing-Renault)
- Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
- Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus-Renault)
- Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari)
- Paul di Resta (Force India)
- Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
- Note: The grid is subject to FIA approval and the final list will be published before the race
Flying Lap of Monza
Check out IBTimes UK's brief description of the historic Monza race track, along with lap of the circuit, at racing speed!
Weather forecasts for the day indicate a near-perfect day for motor racing, with air temperatures expected to touch the 30 degree Celsius mark by the time racing starts at 2 pm (local time). There should be a slight breeze, maybe 2 km/h, coming in from a South-South-Easterly direction - which should not affect the cars too much. Humidity should remain between 53 percent and 54 percent for the duration of the race, with cloud cover going up to 14 percent by early evening. The best part of the forecast is that there is zero percent chance of precipitation.
Where to Watch Live
You can catch all the action live from 11.30 am BST on Sky Sports F1 HD. You can also follow the action live and free, via text updates, on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website. Finally, you can catch live radio commentary of the session on BBC Radio 5 live, from 1pm.