- Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying
Vettel secures pole as Hulkenberg shinesChris Medland at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza September 7, 2013
- Italian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel secured pole position for the Italian Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg shone in qualifying with third place.
Having been quickest in FP2 and FP3, Vettel was able to take his fourth pole of the year by 0.2s from team-mate Mark Webber, with Hulkenberg third - just 0.310s off pole. Felipe Massa outqualified Fernando Alonso in fourth and fifth places respectively after Ferrari failed to keep Alonso close enough to his team-mate to pick up a tow.
Nico Rosberg was sixth as Mercedes was unable to match Red Bull in qualifying trim, and Vettel's championship hopes received a further boost with both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton failing to make it in to the top ten.
Q2 saw a host of big names drop out of a close session which saw all 16 cars covered by just 1.1s, even with Vettel a quarter of a second clear. Hamilton ran off at the Parabolica on his first run, leaving him needing a final lap to try and get through but he found himself held up by Adrian Sutil at the final corner and then couldn't complete another lap with the Force India ahead of him.
Surprisingly, both Lotus cars failed to make it through as well as Raikkonen missed out by just 0.018s. The impressive showings came from Ricciardo in fourth place and Hulkenberg up in fifth.
The latter stages of Q1 saw the two Williams, Force Indias and Esteban Gutierrez swapping times trying to avoid the cut, with Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas last across the line. Maldonado delivered an impressive lap to make it through in to Q2 but Bottas had a poor sector and dropped out along with Gutierrez.
Both Caterhams beat the Marussias, with Giedo van der Garde beating team-mate Charles Pic despite sitting out FP1 on Friday. As a result it is Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton who will start from the back row.
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1