Lewis Hamilton and his old F3 sparing partner Adrian Sutil locked out the front row for the Italian Grand Prix for McLaren Mercedes and Force India Mercedes. Naturally both drivers were happy with the performance with the former chasing his second victory of the season.
feel comfortable with the performance of the car but clearly we understand that other cars around us are very quick,” said Hamilton. “Adrian and Kimi, even Heikki back there. It seems to be very close. I don’t know what to expect tomorrow. We don’t know what the weather is going to do. All I can hope for is a good clean start and hopefully deal with it from then on. But hopefully we are in a strong position.
Ahead of the race weekend, it was predicted that KERS – as used by McLaren, Ferrari and Renault – could be worth up to half a second in qualifying and three-tenths in race conditions. Hamilton however points out that despite the use of KERS on his MP4-24; Sutil’s Force India is in fact the quicker car in the straight line.
“I think it makes up for the loss of downforce and perhaps drag that we have compared to others,” he explained. “Adrian is quicker than us down the main straight even though we have KERS boosting us all the way down, so we kind of make up for some of the bits that aren’t so great on the car and we are still working to improve the rest of those.
“Congratulations to Adrian. He has done a great job and truly deserves to be up there with us and finally able to show what he is capable of doing.”
Sutil had been hoping to replicate the pole position gained in Belgium by former team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella
. However he was still very satisfied with his second position as he chases his first points of the season.
“Yes, huge satisfaction,” he said when asked how he felt to be on the front row of the grid. “I was waiting for this chance for quite a long time. I would never have thought that we would be able to be on the front row this year, and especially as three or four races ago we were fighting to reach the second qualifying. So suddenly the step has been so big with our last update package and it’s working really well, so we are heading in the right direction, I think. I’m ready for it and now it feels really, really good.”