Lewis Hamilton wins Italian GP pole
MONZA, Italy -- Lewis Hamilton won the pole position for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix after finishing fastest in qualifying, with teammate Jenson Button giving McLaren a one-two finish.
This is McLaren's 62nd front row sweep in Formula One -- a record for the sport. It is also the team's third all front row this season.
"It's fantastic for the team," Button said. "I think the last few races have really shown our strength and qualifying both of us on the front row is great. I don't know if any other team has been able to do that this year."
Hamilton took his fourth pole of the season amid speculation about his possible switch to Mercedes. His time of 1 minute, 24.010 seconds was just more than a tenth of a second faster than Button's. Ferrari's Felipe Massa was third.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso had another disappointing day. The Spaniard, just a thousandth of a second behind Hamilton in the final practice, will start in 10th position.
On Friday, Alonso had to deal with a suspected engine failure in the first practice and a brake problem and gearbox failure during the afternoon session. His problems seemed behind him in the morning, but more technical issues left him nearly 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton in qualifying.
It could be another troublesome weekend for Alonso, whose lead over Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was cut to 24 points last weekend. His race ended following a wild multicar accident caused by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean at the start.
There will be some consolation for the Spaniard in that Red Bull has struggled as well so far at Monza. Vettel finished outside the top 10 in all three practices, although the defending champion was sixth in qualifying.
Paul Di Resta qualified fourth, but will be pushed down to ninth because of a five-place grid penalty for changing gearbox.
A gearbox is supposed to last five consecutive races under had to regulations, but the Force India team had to place a new one in Di Resta's car after last weekend's Belgium Grand Prix.
Five-time Monza winner Michael Schumacher, who was fastest in the first practice, finished fifth. He moves up a place because of Di Resta's penalty, as do Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Kamui Kobayashi.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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