Today was a great day for the Mclaren-Mercedes team. Kimi was able to beat the great Schumacher by just 0.002 seconds for the pole position. Pedro was not so lucky and ended up in seventh place. Alonso was even unluckier and was panelized for blocking Massa, which resulted in him sliding from fifth to tenth place. Here is what the guys from Mclaren-Mercedes had to say:
Monza, Sep 09, 2006
"A good weekend for us so far. I'm pleased to be on pole position, and it wasn't even a particularly good lap as I had two big moments in Ascari. I was not here at the test last week, but the team, Pedro and Gary did a fantastic job, and we have a very good tyre from Michelin. The race tomorrow will be tough, but we will certainly give it our best shot. I'm confident that Michelin is well prepared for the race. The car has been working well, and I want to remain at the front and look forward to achieving that."
Pedro de la Rosa
"A very good qualifying for Kimi, the team and me. I was lucky not to have any traffic in my runs and I'm relieved as I just made it into the final session on my last run, and it was a bit too close for comfort. The balance of the car was excellent even with the lower downforce configuration that we ran today. I'm looking forward to a strong race tomorrow."
"A strong performance by Kimi and the team. I'm pleased with the progress we have made since the test last week and continued throughout the weekend. We will see what happens in the race tomorrow but are confident that both Kimi and Pedro's race strategies will help to deliver a positive result."
"A good pole position lap of Kimi's even if it's only two thousandths of a second to the second placed Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. This is the perfect basis for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix. This is Kimi's third pole in the last four races, and ideally we want to achieve the same result tomorrow. Pedro did a good job, he has to run the second race with his engine which is always a small handicap for any driver."
Grid positions ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Monza:
1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.484
2. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.486
3. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:21.653
4. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:21.704
5. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:22.011
6. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:22.258
7. Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.280
8. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1:22.787
9. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:23.175
10. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:21.829 **
11. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:21.924
12. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Cosworth 1:22.203
13. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:22.280
14. David Coulthard (GB) RedBull-Ferrari 1:22.589
15. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:23.165
16. Christian Klien (Aus) RedBull-Ferrari
17. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:23.043
18. Christijan Albers (Hol) MF1-Toyota 1:23.116
19. Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-Cosworth 1:23.341
20. Tiago Monteiro (Por) MF1-Toyota 1:23.920
21. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 1:24.289
22. Sakon Yamamoto (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 1:26.001