Italian GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) claimed the 110th pole position set on Bridgestone Potenza tyres after setting a 1min 21.997secs time on the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza at Monza for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Alonso also set the...

Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) claimed the 110th pole position set on Bridgestone Potenza tyres after setting a 1min 21.997secs time on the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza at Monza for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Alonso also set the day's fastest lap time, a 1min 21.356, on the soft compound in Q2. He heads an all McLaren Mercedes front row for tomorrow's race, with team-mate and drivers' championship leader Lewis Hamilton starting alongside him.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa and BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld line up on the second row after setting the third and fourth fastest times, with Massa over half a second off Alonso's pole lap.

The morning practice saw Alonso quickest with a 1min 22.054secs set on the soft compound late in the hour-long session which had been interrupted for 21 minutes by a red flag period brought about by Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) crashing into the barriers.

Today's pole time was just over half a second slower than last year's pole, set by Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) on Bridgestone Potenza tyres. Alonso's fastest lap of the day, however, was just seven thousandths slower than Michael Schumacher's fastest of the day in 2006.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:

"In qualifying we saw a confirmation of the strength of the three fastest teams in Formula One at the moment, but behind the top six drivers there was an extremely good battle to get into the top ten which provided good entertainment. Trulli, Rosberg and Vettel, to name but three, performed very well. Everyone except Vettel used the soft compound to set their fastest time today. We saw no unexpected issues from the tyres."

"I think tomorrow we will see some interesting strategies. The crucial factor for teams to be able to choose the best strategy will be how the cars use, and the drivers manage, their tyres over the longer stints in the race. The heat will also be a major factor for degradation tomorrow, especially with the soft compound."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 613 laps
Average number of laps per car: 28 laps
Most laps by a driver: 40 laps - Jarno Trulli
Fastest lap: 1m 21.356s - Alonso in Q2
Compounds: Medium and soft

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren