Vettel claims tenth pole position of 2011 at Monza

2011 Italian GP qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Monza, 2011

Sebastian Vettel gave Red Bull their first pole position at Monza and continued their domination of qualifying in 2011.

The two McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button start behind him, while Fernando Alonso claimed fourth for Ferrari.

Mark Webber and Felipe Massa share the third row.


Pastor Maldonado had a setback early in qualifying when he spun at the exit of Parabolica. He lost control of the car as he opened his DRS and the Williams knocked the barrier at the inside of the corner, damaging its front wing.

The team inspected the damage, replaced the wing and sent Maldonado out again. He duly made it through into Q2.

His team mate briefly looked as though he wasn’t going to make it through to the next part of qualifying. But a late improvement from Rubens Barrichello meant it was Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso who failed to progress beyond Q1.

The usual six cars were behind him, with Daniel Ricciardo out-qualifying Vitantonio Liuzzi despite having missed much of second and third practice.

Timo Glock, meanwhile, had a dramatic moment when his DRS did not close properly. He avoided a crassh and was inspecting his rear wing in the pits after the session ended.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.334
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’26.647
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’27.184
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’27.591
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’27.609
23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’28.054
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’28.231


As the session began McLaren told Hamilton he would need to do a 1’23.8 to get a place in Q2.

He managed a 1’23.740 on medium tyres while the other front runners did their times on softs. But despite having beaten the target time he felt he couldn’t risk setting a quicker lap on soft tyres.

He duly set a 1’23.172 on softs to take third behind Vettel and Button. But Vitaly Petrov, who had been one-thousandth of a second slower than Hamilton, did not go out again and secured his passage to Q3.

Team mate Bruno Senna joined him with his final lap of the session. A 1’24.157, aided by a tow from Hamilton, put him tenth and knocked out Paul di Resta.

Di Resta joined his team mate plus both Williams and Sauber drivers and Sebastien Buemi in elimination.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’24.183
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’24.209
13 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’24.648
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’24.726
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.845
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.932
17 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’25.065


The Ferraris led the cars out at the start of Q3 and Fernando Alonso briefly headed the times.

But within a few moments he was demoted first by Button and then Vettel. Vettel went straight into a second lap where he looked set to go faster, before a ragged moment at the exit of Lesmo 2 and a dramatic slide through Ascari.

Alonso made it up to fourth with his last effort, using a tow from his team mate to pick up speed in the first sector.

Neither McLaren driver improved their times with their final run, Hamilton losing time at the della Roggia and aborting his run, Button quitting into the pits at the end of his lap.

With Webber, whose KERS was only working intermittently, unable to better fifth place there was no need for Vettel to improve his time. But he did anyway: a flying lap of 1’22.275 put him almost half a second clear of Hamilton.

Michael Schumacher out-qualified Nico Rosberg, the latter choosing to qualify on medium tyres. Bruno Senna, meanwhile, did not set a time.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.275
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.725
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.777
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’22.841
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’22.972
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’23.188
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’23.530
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’23.777
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’24.477
10 Bruno Senna Renault

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    193 comments on “Vettel claims tenth pole position of 2011 at Monza”

    1. I don’t know how he does it, but the more pressure you pile on Vettel, and the faster he seems to go.

      1. Exactly, the speed that he attacked Ascari with was ridiculous.

        1. I liked seeing him control his car, he looks always so cool and driving his car seems so easy because he’s just perfect.

      2. yes.. He is getting better and better. More confident each race.

      3. Credit where it’s due, he’s really been sensational this year and with the exception of the final lap in Canada has not made a single mistake when it mattered as far as I am aware.

        The most daunting thing is the relentless rate at which he is improving every facet of his driving.

        1. Final lap in Canada was one mistake, and the other was his spin at the Nurburgring. But other than that, he has been pretty flawless.

      4. I cant’t see Vettel being under pressure given the huge lead he has in the points table.

        1. @ Klaas

          Precisely, people can be spurred on if they have nothing left to lose, but in Vettel’s case he has nothing to lose because he can literally afford to have a few duff races or DNFs and still be ahead.

          It means he has huge weight lifted off his shoulders because he knows his performance in a single race will not be crucial. IMO, he’s under less pressure, not more.

          Also, you only need to look around the paddock and listen to the other drivers to realise that, in their heart of hearts, they’ve already given up on this year and have conceded that Vettel will be champion. That’s sure to be a huge confidence boost to Vettel.

        2. which he has achieved in a high pressure world class motor sport where consistent speed is what puts you above others.

      5. I’m really not sure why people continue to be surprised when Vettel takes pole. Webber’s clearly having an off year so Seb’s other competitors have cars that are at least half a second slower in quali. There were times this year where that hasn’t been the case but only when Red Bull had to compromise their quali set up in favour of race pace. Everyone keeps talking about giving credit where it’s due and yet they really only give it to Seb. I’ll agree he’s done a great job, but to me the credit really should go to the team for giving him such a quick and reliable car. The job of driving the car is made much much easier when the car is so much faster than the rest.

        1. yes I agreed….credit should be to the team….not the driver,coz without the team effort….he wont have fast car to drive!!

        2. The car hasn’t always been so dominant as you think. Often it’s Vettel making it look dominant (like today).

          1. All a driver can do is extract the most out of a car, which Seb has done well, but I think it would be a bit much to assume the half a second difference we see in quali race after race is down to him being half a second faster than Lewis, Fernando, etc…It’s down to the car. Seb is doing a fine job, but the difference we’re seeing is down to the car. I really don’t think you can argue that Fernando, Felipe, Lewis and Jenson are all driving poorly and just not extracting that extra half a second out of their cars. You could argue this about Mark as he has the same equipment..but not about the rest.

            1. There have been times this and last year where the gaps have clearly been down to the car, like Australia this year. However, you should remember that in Hungary this year, Mclaren were expected after practice to beat Red Bull to pole, but failed thanks to Lewis making errors on his lap (and Button being slower than Hamilton). Today, the MP4-26 was not half a second down on the RB7 as the final result suggests- he was under 2 tenths down after his first run, and made a mistake on his second. Button’s time would have been closer to Vettel’s had he not aborted his lap.

              On the other hand, it is more valid to claim that the gap to Alonso is down to the car (moreso than the Mclaren drivers anyway), as there hasn’t been a weekend apart from Canada where the Ferrari has got particularly close to pole.

      6. Considering he always does his fastest lap as the last man on the track, i’d say track evolution from the tyres plays a big part.

    2. I think Q1 was the most exciting…

      Why on earth did they put Rosberg on softs?
      It seems an incomprehensible decision at the one track they actually had pace at.

      1. You mean hards?
        I wonder if Rosberg is thinking about Spa, how Schumacher beat him from starting last on the grid, on hard tyres.

        1. Yeah sorry, I did.

          That’s a good point.

      2. Strategy. Like Martin Brundle said: if you’re the last man to pit, you’ll win the race. More than any other venue, you have to reverse engineer your strategy at Monza. You have to decide where you want to be on the road at the final stop and go from there. Mercedes knew they couldn’t fight with the others (though I suspect they might have liked to be in front of Vitaly Petrov), so they bolted on the harder tyres to get that phase of the race out of the way.

        1. I think Brundle was referring to the old days when refueling was allowed.

        2. And it might give them better runnings as they will have the hard tyres on when they are going to damage them most.

    3. Why did Button pit at the end – he was faster than Vettel’s first pole lap on his way into Parabollica?

      1. Because Lewis had made a mistake (lockup). I guess team told Button to pit so that Lewis would stay in front of him.

      2. I think the bull was much faster through parabolica so he knew it wouldn’t be enough. He should have beaten Hamilton’s time though so may have also made a small mistake

      3. I started shouting at the screen when I saw him pull off into the pits and assumed he MUST have made a big mistake in the last corner.

        Even if he did make a mistake it would have to be one which cost him around 6 tenths in order to justify pitting, as he was over a tenth up on pole and Vettel was 5 tenths ahead of Hamilton.

        I’m fuming to be honest. Really thought it was going to be a sensational pole for Jenson here today.

        Still, all bodes well for the race tomorrow and I hope that for once we get to see a straight up fight across an entire race distance between the two Mclaren drivers.

        1. Alternatively, Button may not have had enough fuel to finish the lap and then do an in-lap

      4. I’m speculating here, but although he was clear of Vettel’s 1m22.613 by around 0.2 at the 2nd timing beam, he may not actually have been up on his own previous sectors. Apparently McLaren are giving away nearly 0.5s to Vettel in the 3rd sector, adjusting the margins for this would leave Button +0.3 on Vettel’s first time and +0.15 on his own best (1m22.777).

        In other words, Button needed a T2 margin of -0.4 to be looking on for beating his own previous time. He only had -0.18.

        1. Very good point.

          Also not sure if I made an error in my post above regarding the gap from Vettel to Hamilton, had Vettel set his fastest lap of the session at that time?

          1. No Vettel was the last man to cross the line.

        2. no, he he going faster then his previous lap, he would have finished about 3 tenths behind vettel, ande .15 seconds ahead of hamilton (and hamilton probably would have gained .2 of a second in final run to retain 2nd if he hadnt made mistakes). so it looks like mclaren wanted hamilton in p2 and called button in.

          1. The time that appears on the graphics is his sector time versus Vettel’s, not versus his own.

            If we assume he will drop 0.5 in the final sector as both McLarens have been doing, he will be 0.3 slower than Vettel’s *first* run (Button was 0.15 slower than that on his first run).

      5. I believe its because he could see that he wasn’t going to beat the time vettel was currently setting and that he wanted to stay on the clean side of the grid in 3rd as opposed to the dirty side in 2nd.

        1. @ Watty,

          Although he seemed to have reservations about being 3rd, on this track, in the press conference. Saying it would be difficult to get past Hamilton / Vettel if they were side by side at the start.

      6. The McLarens were losing a significant amount of time in the third sector to the Red Bulls. Button probably noticed this on the delta display of his steering wheel and called it quits to save the tires.

      7. He said at the interview that as he came through the Parabolica he could see from his readout that he was’nt going to improve his position.

    4. It’s Christmas time !!!!!!!!

      1. You’re Sure right,In fact this season has no interest to me anymore,Im thinking about Xmas & School now.

        1. More fool you. Some of the best races I’ve seen came after the championship was decided. Suzuka ’05, for example.

          1. I thought Abu Dhabi ’09 was a pretty good race for that year too

          2. I agree with @Keith the best races happens when the championship pressure is taken off of the drivers. They get into the natural winning instincts.

            BTW the comment I meant was what Horner told vettel over radio after his pole lap. Both were really excited.

      2. There’s no need to be afraid.

    5. I think the race will be interesting though. I reckon one of the McLarens or Alonso will win.

      1. Fantastic Ricciardo.

    6. How can u say Alonso took 4th by the tow of Massa. He was quite far behind him on both the runs.

      1. The tow takes effect from quite a long way back at those speeds.

      2. It’s close enough apparently.

        If Ferrari weren’t trying to give Alonso a tow they wouldn’t have put their cars so close on the track.

      3. Five years ago, towing Felipe Massa would have got him penalised.

        1. like when alonso(in renault) got penalised for towing massa, the FIA wanted schumacher to win the championship so decided that alonso was blocking massa, even though he was 100 meters in front of him, likely giving him an advantage, not blocking.

    7. WHY did JB back out his last lap? He was 0,151 sec faster then current Vettel time.He could at list be for sure in front of LH.

      1. Didn’t have enough fuel

        1. If he didn’t have enough fuel he wouldn’t have pushed for 2/3 of the lap, plus I doubt McLaren would neglect to fill him enough to finish the session

      2. WHY did JB back out his last lap? He was 0,151 sec faster then current Vettel time.

        But he wasn’t faster than the lap Vettel was in the process of setting.

        1. still Prisoner he wouldnt know that at the time.

        2. But he wasn’t faster than the lap Vettel was in the process of setting.

          So? He still would have been 2nd instead of 3rd. I am going to say saving tyres, but he pushed them all the way to Parabolica anyway and he only saved a slow cool down lap. Plus, he has to start on tyres he completed his fastest lap anyway.

        3. Yes, I think that was his focus. So when he knew he would not beat that, and he knew neither Alonso nor Webber were going to threathen his 3rd he went in.

    8. Yes, it did surprised, McLaren-Mercedes is more in to positive side then Red Bull-Renault. Tomorrow things will change when the track temperature will rise above 50.

    9. I feel like RedBulls give everything to make Vettel’s car competitive instead of working on both drivers cars.

      1. I think some people will say anything to diminish Vettel’s achievements.

        I see no reason to believe Red Bull aren’t giving Webber a competitive car and I doubt he’d stay quiet if that was the case.

        1. He have to stay quiet if he wants to drive next year :P

          1. Webber has been a consistent driver this year. But don’t continue kidding yourself that he’s being held back when it’s painfully obvious that Vettel is outdriving him.

          2. Didn’t Webber recently renew his oontract with RBR for 2012? People go through a lot of trouble to bring down every pole Vettel has scored this year.

            1. contract, oh dear

          3. You mean like how he stayed totally quiet last year and didn’t get to drive this year? Oh, wait…

            1. Well said ……couldn’t agree more

          4. He wasn’t quiet last year, and they have signed him up twice since then.

        2. I agree. Vettel has just been on an incredible form. Definitely deserved this pole.

        3. Law of attraction. Vettel is full of confidence, and even if conditions are not so favourable, he still manages to find that little extra. He is enjoying every lap in that car, and its all coming to him. Nothing is going to dent his confidence this season, he has the WDC in the bag. We will have to wait till next season to see if he has a less competitive car.

        4. sorry to disagree Keith but everyone knows that Vettel says he likes to have oversteer whereareas Webber the opposite, I remember last season Vettel complaining that the car wasnt developing to his liking, problem that was quickly resolved with redbull going back into the developing of the car to give Seb what he wanted. I have still to admit that despite the Teams preference, Vettel is driving on the limit, the way he sets the car up is amazing he always seems to get it right, in Belgium here at Monza he puts alot of toe in and negative camber and still can drive his car with consistency which is remarkable.

        5. I have this theory that it is Webber’s size that is limiting their ability to cool his kers system – wasn’t the car designed without kers in mind? I’m guessing that they find it easier to squeeze the batteries into Vettel’s wagon.

          Does anyone else think this might be true?

          1. Hardly since the KERS batteries are stuffed in a box underneath the gearbox at the back of the car.

            1. Thanks for the illumination. So why does Webber’s car break more often than Vettel’s?

            2. Why does the pope **** in the woods?

              Check out last year, Vettel had horrid reliability and Webber’s was great.

        6. I had been Redbull’s fas because theway David Coultard and Adrian Newey built the team…and then Webber and Newey!!I guess…I just go back to my old team,which is Mclaren. I am Prost,Hakinnen and Coulthard long time fans

        7. I am getting a feeling that Vettel is kind of becoming Jimmie Johnson of NASCAR. Though jimmie keeps winning nobody talks much about him as a great driver and all those stuff.

          Just give the kid a lillte credit for what he is doing. I agree red bull is the best car on the grid but he is doing better with it than webber.

          All said though he is criticized as having no racing talent all the team bosses want him to drive for their team. That might just say something.

        8. I have no intention of diminishing Vettels achievements but I do feel that Mark has been given the job of racing-safe with conservative set-ups that cover most scenarios to ensure steady points accumulation, rather than rolling the dice for a win or fail setup. This weekend is a good example of Red Bull betting the farm on a high downforce setup for Vettel and setting Webber up in the midrange. So far Vettel has risen to challenge brilliantly and Mark, despite some reliability issues, has provided the team with good solid backup points.

      2. It’s very likely Vettel gets more attention in that department, he’s been delivering more and more consistently.

        He might also simply be better at developing the car to begin with, improving it either way, obviously with a bias towards his own preference. It’s something all of the great drivers (apparently) share.

        Either way, not giving Vettel the best possible car seems stupid at this point. I don’t think there is much more he could have done to settle without a doubt why the team should.

        1. Well, that’s not the case at Mclaren, both drivers have same cars, they compete with each other on the track, unlike Ferrari and RedBull

          1. Since when do the Red Bull or Ferrari drivers have different cars? At first I thought you were suggesting that same car might be more developed along the feedback of one of either drivers, not that they design separate cars for both…

            Unless you’re referring to engine strategy, which is just that, it’ll benefit Webber later in the season.

          2. McLaren’s drivers are very close, there would be no point in showing any type of preference.
            Vettel has only finished behind Mark ONCE this season and we can even include the last 6 races or something of 2010. If that isn’t enough to make him the clear team leader i don’t know what is.

            1. I think that’s point. Webber has failed to mount any kind of challenge to Vettel since the last third of last season. He’s just totally outclassed by Vettel’s talent. No issue. It would be more interesting for the championship if Red Bull had someone closer to Vettel, but – being honest – they don’t need another good driver. Vettel delivers. His record this year is spectacular.

          3. At Mclaren, Hamilton is failing to convicingly beat his teammate. Vettel and Alonso have established themselves as better drivers than Webber and Massa.

            1. Button is better than both Webber and Massa. But even so you’re right that Hamilton has failed to put a clear distance between himself and Button, and that’s due to a lack of interest in perfecting other aspects of his racing (better decision making, more investment in understanding the car and technical issues). His choice, but he can’t complain if other drivers like Vettel develop themselves into more complete racers – like Schumacher and Alonso – and consistently beat him in the percentages. Hamilton has the talent, but F1 careers are short and if he wants to achieve more he has to concentrate and drop the celeb junk and get real. If he wants.

            2. David BR,

              So, because Webber and Massa are consistently slower than their teammates, and Button isn’t, therefore Button is better than Webber and Massa.

              Strange logics.

            3. @ rob – I don’t see where David BR’s logic is strange. Seb, Lewis and Fernando are seen as quite evenly matched when on form, and Button is the best performing of their teammates by far at the moment. Jenson has more wins this year than Felipe and Mark, and is the only one with a title to his name.

      3. nah, it’s just Vettel being a lot quicker than Mark, really.

      4. Vettel is young, so is still improving, while Webber has peaked. last year he was slightly faster then Webber, and made some errors. This year he has eliminated the errors and improved his skill, which comes with confidence, while webber has not improved one bit, and probably lost some confidence from being thrashed by his teammate.
        expect more from Vettel, he will be remembered as one of the best. Today he set a new record – The first ever driver to claim 10 pole positions in 2 season, a great feat as there have been many great drivers in great cars, but Vettel has put together this amazing consistency that makes him the best driver in f1 right now.

        1. The car and team are geared towards Vettel because the team see him as the long term future. Webber renews his contract on a year by year basis with no real permanency / long term outlook with the team.

          From the team’s point of view it’s easy to see why they would design the car around Vettel’s preferences and driving style, because he is Red Bull’s future.

          I think Webber’s weight probably is and has always been a factor, particularly noticeable with the introduction of KERS. Vettel can play around with the balance of his car (weight distribution of ballast) to a greater extent than Webber.

          IMO, the team do want Webber to do well, but I don’t think you can completely rule out favouritism. Remember the new wing fiasco last year and the “team orders” that always seem to favour Vettel?

          1. You mean like how he stayed totally quiet last year and didn’t get to drive this year? Oh, wait…

            IMO, Red Bull find Webber easy to manage and he is on the whole usually very diplomatic. He has a few little digs now and then, but he usually comes out in support of the team. If Webber left, who would the team replace him with and more importantly what effect would that have on team dynamics?

            Someone like Hamilton, for example, is not likely to come in quietly and allow Vettel to have the biggest influence on car development. IMO, this would cause major disruption to the team. Webber is quite unique in that he doesn’t have the massive ego that most drivers have, probably because he became successful when he was more mature.

            We should probably remember that Webber has been with the team for a long time, he fits in and is very much a part of Red Bull’s history and culture.

            If you have a winning formula that brings stability to a team, why change it?

        2. Today he set a new record – The first ever driver to claim 10 pole positions in 2 season

          Senna won 36 pole positions in three years (13,13,10).

          I’m not trying to take away from Vettel’s success, he’s scored one less pole than Hakkinen who had an equally dominant car for a couple of seasons during his career too.

          1. Ayrton did’nt have to race with what he qualified in.

      5. I don’t see any reason why they would do that.
        Its not as if Vettel is fighting a close battle for the championship where each thousend of a second might make the difference between champion and lose out. They want both cars to do well, so as to secure both championships and preferrably second place for Webber as well.

        I did hear something about having to give Webber an older engine in Monza as there emerged a problem with the new one he should have got.

    10. Now FIA can start writing Vettel name on Driver championship trophy. It seems all but over as RedBull seems to be very competitive at every kind of track. McLaren & Ferrari can have few consolation wins.

    11. so with Monza gone, we’re almost sure no other than a Red Bull will secure a pole position this year.

      1. Yeah that’s true. Anyone feel like helping fund McLaren and Ferrari so they can actually start beating Red Bull? LOL.

      2. That would be a new record! No team has ever gotten a clean sweep of poles in one season.

    12. Wow. Vettel is super.

      1. But Mark helped as well.

    13. May i point out exceptional work that LRGP & Petrov did.
      Q1: 5 laps on medium, 1.25.4 (woludn’t give hime Q2 chance). From then on he gave good series of 1 lap runs. Still in Q1 – 1.24.4, 6th, (3 minutes to the end of Q1).
      Q2: 1.23.7 (27.1, 28.3, 28.2), 8 minutes to the end of Q2 and then sits in box till the end and 9th. I watched timing – there was no one (except Mercedes) who posted sectors even close to him.
      Q3: 1.24.1 on the old tyres. And then 1.23.5 on last lap.
      In front of Shumacher on softs, Rosberg on medium and Senna, who didn’t leave the garage.

      Good luck for tomorrow.

    14. Vettel just keeps producing pole laps, even when he isn’t expected to get on pole. Simply no other candidate for driver of the day, although Di Resta once again outdid Sutil.

      1. And even if Seb dominates the race like he dominated qualifying, we still won’t vote for him as driver of the weekend…

    15. absolutely Vettel is super, i don,t believe how do he do all these. even if the conditions r not that favorable.

      1. It is the car. But i must say 10 pole positions is no easy feat.

    16. i think it is very strange that jenson came in the pits when he was bettering his time…

      vettel is a fantastic driver and a fantastic saturday lad but there must be something about the engine map they run at red bull in q3 for sure. there has been a ridiculous gap in every saturday this year between q2 and q3. no matter how agressive you are entering corners, braking late or opening your rear flap early. its always a massive gap

      1. Only thing I can think is that Button wanted the clean side of the grid in the knowledge he couldn’t beat Vettel

      2. That gap also exists between Q2 and Q3 times set by the McLaren and Ferrari drivers.

    17. I don’t get why people are up in arms over Button was pitting. Yes, he was 0.151 seconds faster than the pole position time when he pitted – but Vettel went on to best his pole time by 0.332 seconds. Button would have had pole position … for all of thirty seconds.

      1. Whatever the explanation is, I seriously doubt that’s it. For example, Button had no way of knowing Vettel was going to complete his lap.

        1. The team would have been monitoring Vettel’s progress.

          1. In the future?

            1. Jenson Button clearly had his reasons for aborting his lap when he did, even if he doesn’t broadcast them straight away. He’s an intelligent man; if he thought he had a shot at pole (and i seriously doubt he did), he would have taken it. Something obviously changed his mind.

              Also, the teams have live updates of all sector and lap times. They could use that to run a projected time for Vettel’s lap, since he was well into the second sector when Button hit the Parabolica (and possibly just going into the third), and they could compare that time to Button’s. I can do it and all I have is the broadcast – if the clock is under one minute when the driver rejoins the circuit after running wide at Ascari, then it’s a quick lap.

            2. Jenson Button clearly had his reasons for aborting his lap

              I’m not saying he didn’t, I’m saying they aren’t the ones you’ve come up with.

          2. That dosnt mean they can predict he wont make a mistake..

      2. You’re missing the prospect that Button could have potentially jumped Hamilton for second on the grid.

        1. Maybe he felt third would be a better starting position since it’s on the racing line and everything from Ascari to the start line has been resealed, so the tyres would be dirty after the warm-up lap.

          1. The resurfacing only goes as far as the exit of the parabolica as far as i could see.

            1. Uh-huh. But the oils picked up from the fresh tarmac will remain on the tyres for considerably longer. Which means that anyone off the racing line will have a harder time getting away cleanly.

            2. Not sure what you’re saying. Its the same for all drivers, they will all be going over the new suface single file before they grid.

              Besides, exiting the parabolica, the racing line eases over to the right of the track, quite close to the pits, then eases left as they are passing through the grid slots, so im not so sure theres that much of a defecite being in 2nd. Oppose to somewhere like Hungary where theres a definative line over the grid slots along the start/finish straight

      3. Yes Button was up on Vettel’s provisional pole lap but Button was already up on that time by about the same margin when Vettel was behind him doing his first run (before he set provisional pole).

        Button probably knew the delta on his own lap times and knew he wasn’t or was only slightly going to improve his time. With that in mind he probably chose to pit and safe his tyres.

    18. Wow, half a second in Monza. ‘Vettel! you are a world champion!’.
      Let’s hope for a good race and not a runaway from Vettel.

      1. Vettel “running away with it” doesn’t automatically make it a bad race. What if Vettel wins the race by a full lap, but a race of attrition means that Fernandes, HRT and Virgin can all claim their first points?

        1. Whoop-a-dee-doo :(

        2. themagicofspeed (@)
          10th September 2011, 16:19

          Only fans of Lotus, HRT and Virgin (are there any?), would likely be bothered. i get the impression most people, at least on this site, are mainly focused toward the sharp end.

          Personally i’d only care if, like Petrov did, they got in the way of the Ferraris, and then i’d be cursing them to the depths of hell :)

      2. It can still be a good race even if Vettel drives off into the distance. Quite some races where that has happened have been very enjoyable this season, luckily.

        1. How?

          I’m unlucky enough to remember 1988. Even Monza that year was pretty dull apart from Jean-Louis Schlesser taking off Ayrton Senna while the latter cruised to yet another win that year.

          Incidentally that was the only race that year not won by a McLaren: a month after Enzo’s passing his car’s finished one-two at home.

          1. Franton, have you no interest in any other drivers? I imagine a great race between between, Webber,Hamilton, Button and Alonso regardless of what Vettel does. And then of course there are the Renaults and the Mercedes,

            1. I have no interest in seeing any one driver dominate to a crushing extent. While I was happy that Mansell finally won a championship in 1992, it was £$(*£!!! dull that he did it by lapping everyone in sight. That included his own teammate who was 30 seconds plus ahead of 3rd place …

    19. Congrats to Seb anyway,That was a Great Lap once again in the Fastest Car which is to be expected of course.Never said that Seb wasnt a Great Driver,I Just said he’s not superior than Fernando and Lewis.

      Anyway Hoping for McLaren to shine tomorrow.

      1. Half a second quicker in a Renault Powerplant at Monza!! That is unreal and it just cant be the car. Maybe he WAS not superior to Fernando and Lewis (when he was like 14) but RIGHT now is way superior to them!!

        1. Renault-engined cars have been fastest through the speed trap all weekend.

          1. tinkering with gear ratios can give higher top speed, though that can compromise acceleration and hence is one of the reasons why the top speed of a car in a a relatively short stretch is not a true test of its speed.

            The Renault Engine has an estimated 30hp disadvantage to the others. And nothing is more conclusive about engine strength than Horse Power!

            1. But it has better drive out of the corners, something that has very often helped the Red Bull cars get enough of a head start on any straight to stay ahead of others. It was clearly visible in Monaco.

          2. only the Renault car, Vettels car has been consistantly last in the speed trap.

            1. exactly, his 7th gear is very short.

              he only topped 237kph during Q so he has a defficit on straights. but what did that thing do in parabolica… :O

    20. I don’t like early Christmas :P
      Now it seems like I have to hope sort of 1988 situation.

    21. Another KERS problem for Webber? How’s that possible…

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        10th September 2011, 16:26

        I know. As David Coulthard said so fittingly, if he (Webber) didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all. I really feel for him, he seems to get nothing but bad luck!

        1. Maybe, they should put Tom Cruise in webber’s seat :)

          1. It’s been some time I have this theory: Mark Webber is doning testing for the future races. in other words, Webber is developing the new car and Vettel gets to drive it. :)

        2. Vettel had to stay out a lap longer to cool his kers-unit aswell. He could’ve been in trouble just as easily.

    22. Newie- so take it easy

      In my opinion i think more needs to be seen of Vettel’s true strength. While I in no way detract from his absolutely great poles and great wins, I think it’s yet to be seen exactly how he fairs in a bad situation such as starting from the mid field or even the back. We havent really had to see him fight to get to the top in a rac unlike his main competitors Hamilton, Alonso, Button and even Webber to some extent. Hes mostly ridden the Bull from the front of the field.

      He is fast, don’t get me wrong. But what if all the cars were the same as in some of the lower series? Would he really be so far up front? Actually I wonder how the whole field would look.

      What do you guys think?

      As for Monza, we all know that Lewis clearly has a launch control button on his dash for the lightening starts he makes but lately his gps is working as well as my iPhone. So tomorrow I think if he does the job right he could jump Seb but with Button and his super creeping ability behind him it’s going to be interesting to see if Vettel can hold both of them off.

      1. well hes better than any of the other drivers from starting in a top car, so he will probably be better then other drivers if he starts in the midfield. he is young and still developing, in the last race at spa he did great race moves on alonso and rosberg. he has also just made a record, the first driver to get 10 poles in 2 seasons in f1. if that isnt enought proof for you that he is a fast f1 driver, then i dont know what is, maybe 2 f1 championships at 24 years of age.

      2. I think it’s yet to be seen exactly how he fairs in a bad situation such as starting from the mid field or even the back.

        The last time Vettel screwed up in quali to start at the back was Brazil 09, where he still came 4th. He also gained many a place from starting position in 07 and 08. If Button keeps screwing up qualifying and Webber keeps falling into the midfield with his starts, they’re showing weakness, by having to gain places they should have had anyway.

        I’d anticipate Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Rosberg to be the best given equal cars.

        1. And yet it is Mark Webber that has beaten SV in an equal car!

          1. Wow, Mark beat Sebastian once in 12 races. He’s automatically as good!

            1. However, if you meant “NR” then fair enough although I think he’s improved a lot since his rookie year.

            2. No David, I meant only that because on occasions Mark has beaten Seb. in equal machinery the difference between them cannot be all that great, and until we see Rosberg, Button and Hamilton race Webber in the same machinery our opinions are subjective.

        2. To be fair, in Germany he went backwards and in China couldn’t get ahead in the first stint until Hamilton’s tryes went off and Button parked in his box by mistake. Bear in mind also in 09 fuel strategies were still possible, both he, Hamilton and Button ended up in 3rd-5th from similar positions. Don’t want to put Vettel down too much but his one weakness does seem to be when he gets stuck, he’s not as good as Hamilton and Alonso – which is pretty ominous if that’s his only weakness, because it’s not even a very big one either.

          1. Well it is also a lot harder to overtake when you are a lot slower then the others on the straights. Nearly all overtaking opportunities comes from a long straight into a hard breaking zone, where the RB is rubbish to say the least. When you have a car that drives like that you are very dependent on getting into clear air and just gunning it through the high speed corners to jump the others through the pit stops or for the others to make mistakes of cause.

    23. themagicofspeed (@)
      10th September 2011, 16:13

      i wish that for once something other than a red bull was on pole. i really think i’d have a heart attack if that happened. it was a good lap though, even if it was by a driver i cannot stand.

      if i were Ferrari, i’d not bother sending the cars to race tomorrow, i’d either have a party about something (don’t know what, this season they have very little to celebrate), or i’d pack up the cars and enjoy the drive home to maranello, it seems an awful waste of fuel, tyres and driver’s effort if nothing else. 4th + 6th at Monza, is a huge dissapointment. Made me laugh when LDM waved at the tfosi in the stands – and got no reaction.

      Im a Ferrari fan for sure, but every year since 2008 i find myself in total despair, with the exception of last year, when an idiotic strategy and an ignorant rookie driver ruined everything at the last hurdle, they slide backwards every season.

      1. an ignorant rookie driver

        If that’s Vitaly Petrov you’re whingeing about, I’ve got news for you: he did nothing wrong.

        1. themagicofspeed (@)
          10th September 2011, 16:22

          Ah, it is. i couldn’t beleive FA lost the championship because he was in the way, it makes me so, so peed off. One day i’ll forget about it, but i dont think that’s yet lol. I just absoloutley cannot abide Petrov for costing Alonso the championship.

          1. Sadly, it’s only Massa who’s required to get out of the way for Alonso. If anyone else is “in the way,” he’s obliged to do his best to overtake them.

          2. spoken like a true tifosi!

            1. Lets not generalize. That’s ignorant.

          3. If he’d pulled over and let Alonso past it would be pathetic and he wouldn’t deserve a place in a kart race, never mind on an F1 track. Get off his back.

            1. themagicofspeed (@)
              10th September 2011, 16:41

              I don’t see why, as a virtual nobody, he would want to get involved in the championship fight, thats all. Martin Brundle has said it a few times, that he doesnt understand rookies or backmarkers holding up the front runners and interfering with the championship fight.

              I didn’t expect him to just let him past. I didnt expect him to be so difficult to pass either, so at the time i was pretty miffed at Alonso too

            2. @themagicofspeed
              He didn’t get involved in the championship. Alonso got involved in Petrov’s race. If Petrov got involved in the championship it would be if he had let Alonso through. That would create trouble. The drivers have to go flat out at every race of the season, whether it is the first or the last, if the championship depends on it or not. They should always try to keep their track position. Racing drivers are hired to race, whether they race for the championship title or 5th, don’t matter. If they fight for track position they fight for track position. No racing driver with some sort of respect for him self would pull out of the way for a driver from another team.

            3. a virtual nobody,

              Silly patronising language. He is not a “nobody” just because he isn’t in a front-running car. Everyone has to start somewhere. Alonso himself drove for Minardi.

              he would want to get involved in the championship fight

              Because it’s not just a championship fight, it’s a race, and it’s his job to get the best result he can. Letting Ferraris past for no reason is not going to accomplish that.

              I didn’t expect him to just let him past.

              So don’t direct your frustration at him, then.

            4. themagicofspeed – doesn’t everyone start of as a nobody, often in a run down team?

              Petrov was keeping Alonso behind fine, he did the same in Turkey for a long time and this year he proved he is good at defending his place as well.

              And getting into Q3 regularly as well as having been on the podium already in a less than 2 season career certainly is something quite some drivers have never even got close to.

          4. Petrov didn’t cost Alonso the championship. Petrov had the right to run his race and besides one race doesn’t make a championship. Alonso shouldn’t have crashed in Aus and Monaco, he shouldn’t have jumped the start at China or if Ferrari hadn’t slumped during Spain-Turkey then that could have won him the championship too. Petrov did everything right while Ferrari blew their strategy by focussing on Mark when they should have been watching Seb. Even if Fernando had passed Petrov he’d still have had to pass Rosberg.

          5. ‘costing’ Alonso the championship? The championship was up there for the grab. That’s like Hamilton telling Vettel this year ‘common man, you’re costing me the championship’. If Alonso wanted it, he should’ve overtaken Petrov. Petrov did nothing wrong.

          6. Magic of speed, let me help you get over it, many times last year Mark Webber was held up by a midfield car and driver, in fact I seem to remember Ruebens doing a damm good job of it in the same race you are fixated on. Takeaway the unpassable midfielders and Webber may have won the championship ,not Alonso or Vettel, that’s racing.

      2. That would be cowardly to go home just because they are not on pole. From the very few things i respect Ferrari for the most important is that they keep going, even when it gets tough. They don’t go all BMW and run away when the going gets rough.

        1. themagicofspeed (@)
          10th September 2011, 16:44

          I’d rather see them not bothering with the last half of this season, which it is now near certainly impossible to win, and for the whole team to get back to Maranello, and build a car for 2012 that will make RBR and McLaren and all the rest look like amateurs. A bit like what Brawn did in 2009, the 2008 car was abandoned before mid season and they concentrated 100% on what would become the BGP-001. In fact, Ferrari have recently shifted their focus to 2012, but if they concentrate 100% on it imagine what sort of a car they could make :)

          1. Yes that would really help the drivers. To be out of the car for half a year is really good for them. Or….
            The more experience they all can get the better. Both the strategists, the mechanics and the drivers.

            The designers can focus 100% on next year car without stopping racing this years car.
            There is no guarantee that just because they bail out now they will be successful next year. And if they don’t race, they make no money, they learn nothing and in the end RB and McLaren will only benefit from that.

            1. themagicofspeed (@)
              10th September 2011, 21:27

              i get your point. if i was stefano, i would send only the most vital technical staff/designers to the races for the remainder of the season, work on this year’s car totally abandoned and have the entire factory, and the Gestione Sportiva (‘Racing Department’) focus on 2012. Fernando and Felipe can, as you wisely said, keep ‘sharp’ by racing, the team makes money, the team can get in pit stop practice, practice new approaches to strategy, etc. I’d rather they made all the mistakes now, when it doesnt make a difference if they finish 5th or 24th, and concentrate on getting it right next year.

              you do make a wise point in that RBR/McLaren would benefit, and trust me i would rather die than that happen.

            2. As far as I remember, Ferrari had started an early 2010 car development back in 2009 which at first looked threatening in testing but turned out not better than RBR nor Mclaren by a large margin except in reliability. So an early development and focus on the next season does not guarantee Ferrari nor Ferrari fans stronger car than others. RBR is surely doing the same if not more just they are not too loud about it and nobody care since they’re dominating.

          2. Yes car like this years Merc.

    24. There should be a limit of period where an engineer, aerodynamics/technical director and blabla (A. Newey and the other expensive guy in Red Bull team) can stay in one team. And move to another team when the period is over.
      2 years/seasons would be great.

      1. themagicofspeed (@)
        10th September 2011, 16:24


      2. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to decide who they work for anymore? It is not like the designers are randomly drawn from a hat and then nailed to a chair in whatever team they land in.

        1. themagicofspeed (@)
          10th September 2011, 16:30

          To stop boring periods of uber-dominance.

          5 years of Schumacher + Ferrari – boring.
          2 years of Alonso / Renault – just about acceptable, cause both times ALO did have to fight for it, and hard;
          2011 – The most boring season since 2004 imo. Its that same ‘stale old bread’ feeling from 2004 where Schumacher just turned up, won and went home.

          Imagine how interesting things would get if Newey had to design the next two HRTS?

          1. Newey isn’t solely responsible for Red Bull’s succes, they simply have a great team of engineers. Newey spent five years at Mclaren without winning any championship at all before he joined Red Bull and before the rules changed.

            1. themagicofspeed (@)
              10th September 2011, 16:50

              I assume that under dam00r’s suggestion, the top few engineers would follow him.

              Despite that fantasy, the old saying still applies, “if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd”.. i dont think just a few top designers can make a slow team quick.

              Before Newey & Co, Red Bull were average at best. It took him a couple of seasons to build them up to where they are now.

            2. @andrewf1 Newey of course won championships for Mclaren. The 2 championships mika Hakkinen won were cars designed by newey. for record newey designed cars won championships for 3 teams. Williams, Mclaren and red bull. The only person today who has achieved this is Ross brawn with benetton Renault, Ferrari and brawn gp. Brawn does have a chance to beat newey’s record if Mercedes can pull it off under him in some near future.

          2. Yeah but how contrived and fake is that?
            I thought DRS was bad, swapping team staff around for the excitement of the championships is on a whole different planet!

            It might be boring but it is still a sport. F1 would die if we started penalizing the best guys in the sport because the others can’t keep up.
            Would you also want Usain Bolt to run around with led shoes just to make it close? Or Messi to play football with his shoelaces tied together?

            If Newey were to build the next HRT we would have to wait like 10 years before they would start getting remotely competitive. It took RB 4 years to win their first race and they had an established team, windtunnel, driver lineup etc. from day one. HRT has just about nothing of that, the car would stay a dreary backmarker for years. It might improve more, but it wouldn’t be able to set the world on fire.

            F1 looks enough like a circus at times, lets not turn it into a Hollywood film.

            1. Newey has a greater platform to work from than the HRT is right now. He now knows what makes a car superior.

            2. @dam00r Yes but not when the design team don’t really exist. And even if he could make them champions that wouldn’t make the concept less contrived would it?

          3. F1 teams turn up to win. If Red Bull are doing the best job, then good for them. The others would need to get off their @rses and catch up, rather than push through nonsense staff regs, like those suggested above.

    25. I think we should expect slow McLarens for the first period of the race and fast McLarens at the end.

      I reckon that they are betting on their drivers overtaking abilities. I haven’t seen the speed traps for Quali but I’m going to take a punt that Red Bull were quite a bit quicker than McLaren down the straights.

      I think we are going to see that with wings closed all the way around the track and mid/light fuel the Mclaren is going to be quite a bit quicker around the lap due to the DRS gearing and aero balance. The weakness for them is going to be overtaking will be difficult as they won’t have the top speed advantage even with the wing fully open but if you look at how the track works it should be OK.

      The Bull was a lot quicker in the last section of the lap, I think this was down to top speed down the long straight, this won’t happen in the race because they won’t be able to open DRS and will struggle to hit their limiter and I think that the McLaren gearing is going to work better with mid/low fuel and the closed wings. As long as they can hang on to the bull along the straight and close up through Parabolica they should be able to easily hang on down the main straight with DRS open (but without the massive advantage due to their gearing so probably can’t just sail past) and then use the superior downforce to brake later into the first corner. The second DRS zone is a much harder overtake and if, as I think, their lap pace will be faster at this point of the race they should be able to scurry away before the bull gets a chance to re-pass.

      As long as Lewis doesn’t get annoyed at being so slow at the beginning that is!

      1. Vettel’s RB had the slowest car on the straight of all the 24 cars in practice. I think their advantage in S3 is that they are very quick through Ascari and Parabolica.
        RB had a very small rear wing so they are going to benefit less from the DRS then what McLaren could, so that would mean that RB has a more race orientated setup where they can’t use the DRS everywhere.

        1. I noticed Vettle was very slow in practice on the straight (actually Mark was quite a bit quicker than the McLarens)but I would like to see the quali speed traps to confirm that.

          I can see what you mean with the rear wings but I’m still believing that the rear wing to gear ratio may play to McLarens advantage during the race. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there are so many different ways of extracting speed from cars with different compromises this year, it’s very difficult to see what people are doing… I’m sticking by my analysis though – we shall see what happens tomorrow!

          1. Actually, never mind just saw the speed trap data… That bleedin’ bull is fast through corners with no wing… That’s just depressing

    26. It’s interesting that you think Lewis makes better starts than Vettel on average. I’ve seen Lewis blown a few this year. If anything, the more likely question to be asked if Lewis can keep Button behind.

      Nevertheless, Good Job Vettel! While everyone keeps making mistakes you just keep coming out on top. There is something to be said about that.

      1. If Webber could start like Massa ?

    27. themagicofspeed (@)
      10th September 2011, 21:32

      Lewis, and Vettel, are brilliant when it comes to putting in a warp speed lap (particularly Vettel). The difference between these two though, is that Vettel keeps a cool head (most of the time – Canada) and still laps at warp speed regardless of whats going on elsewhere. Lewis is quick when you tell him something he likes, if you annoy/upset/distract/try to pass/block him, he caves in and mistakes soon follow, such as in Spa.

      1. Giving you something interesting to watch while you wait for the Ferraris to come around.

        1. themagicofspeed (@)
          10th September 2011, 22:25

          sadly that’s only too true. more than likely it will be massa, and he will ask you if you would like to pass him.

          1. I was hoping to cheer you up.

    28. themagicofspeed (@)
      10th September 2011, 22:30

      Despite being a smug prat, Vettel can run rings around Hamilton, Alonso, and Button most of the time, usually all at the same time, while cruising along thinking what to have for tea. He’s the only driver atm who is capable of repeating the Schumacher dominance, but thats definitley not a good thing i think.

    29. I ruddy well forgot to do my predictions this weekend, damn & blast!

    30. This have to be one of the best quali performance from Vettel,I said that he won’t make it but he did awesome.Good work both the Mclaren drivers & watch out for Nico he is the only official one who will start the race on Medium he will have a different strategy then others.Senna too is there but need to capitalize on the race as well.

    31. Initially I though Maldonado was damage free so I’m glad that’s been cleared up. Seeing his spin was very exciting!

      Great stuff from Ricciardo and nice to see Trulli ahead of Kovalainen on his home turf.

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