Hamilton claims Monza pole
2:41pm Saturday 8th September 2012 in © Press Association 2014
Lewis Hamilton proved the furore surrounding his future is firmly at the back of his mind by grabbing pole for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton will lead away an all-McLaren front row at Monza as team-mate Jenson Button, runner-up in this race on the last three occasions, starts second, the duo split by a tenth of a second.
Remarkably, for the first time this year, Felipe Massa managed to out-qualify Ferrari team-mate and championship leader Fernando Alonso who starts a lowly 10th.
Ferrari had employed slipstreaming tactics during the first two sessions to aid their cause, notably with Alonso quickest at the end of both.
Monza's long straights lends itself to slipstreaming, but it all went horribly wrong for the Spaniard in Q3 as he made a mistake on both flying laps to leave himself in the midfield come the race.
Paul Di Resta conjured the best qualifying performance of his career with fourth, but sadly takes a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change to his Force India, so will start ninth.
Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull will move up a place to fourth and fifth. The same applies to Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus and Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi who will start sixth, seventh and eighth, with Di Resta ninth and Alonso 10th.
For the second time in three races Mark Webber failed to qualify for the top-10 shoot-out, and for the third consecutive race Red Bull failed to get both cars into Q3 such has been their drop in pace of late.
Webber will start 11th after missing out on a top-10 shot by 0.067secs to Raikkonen in Q2. Williams' Pastor Maldonado qualified 12th, but the Venezuelan faces a 10-place grid penalty for two separate incidents in last Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, so will start 22nd.
From Q2, it means Sauber's Sergio Perez, Bruno Senna in his Williams, Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, Jerome D'Ambrosio for Lotus and the second Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne will all move up a place from their qualifying positions of 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.