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Hamilton edges out Sutil for Monza pole

NEWS STORY
12/09/2009

Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 27 degrees while the track temperature is 40 degrees. It remains bright and sunny.

After three practice sessions it remains almost impossible to say who's hot and who's not. That said, Force India's Adrian Sutil has topped the timesheets in two of the three sessions.

McLaren have looked for most of the time while Brawn looked particularly good this morning. Ferrari have been disappointing, a situation not helped by Fisichella crashing out this morning, while it is almost impossible to evaluate where Red Bull stands as the team is restricting its running in an attempt to save engines.

BMW have been thereabouts while Toyota look good one minute and poor the next. Williams have failed to convince thus far this weekend while Toro Rosso is highly unlikely not repeat last year's famous result.

While Renault has other things on its mind, the French team has been on the pace for much of the weekend, however, it is Force India which continues to impress, the Silverstone outfit maintaining its amazing Spa form, much to everyone's surprise.

Following the number of incidents whereby drivers have 'cut' the chicanes, the Race Stewards have announced that any lap on which a driver misses a chicane will be omitted from the times.

Tyre option are medium and soft, while McLaren, Ferrari and Renault are all using KERS, which it is thought could be worth up to half-a-second.

Jaime Alguersuari has had a new gearbox fitted, which means the Spaniard incurs a five-place grid penalty.

The crowd cheers as Fisichella heads down the pitlane getting Q1 underway. He is followed by his Ferrari teammate. Grosjean, Trulli, Glock and Liuzzi are also keen to get to work.

Fisichella crosses the line at 25.590, but this is instantly eclipsed by his teammate who posts 24.822. Liuzzi, who appears to be struggling with the Force India for some reason, posts 28.308.

Raikkonen improves with a 24.230, as Glock goes second, ahead of Fisichella, Trulli and Barrichello.

Sutil takes second with a 24.245, having gone quickest in the final sector, as Barrichello makes full use of the wide run off.

Barrichello posts 24.036 to go quickest as Sutil fails to improve. However, Button goes quickest in the middle sector, crossing the line at 24.189 to make it a Brawn 1-2.

Heidfeld splits the Brawns with a 24.122, only to be demoted when Raikkonen takes the top spot with a 23.610. As one about to ask, 'where did that come from?', Barrichello raises the benchmark with a 23.483.

All eyes on Hamilton, who is the only driver yet to post a time. Alonso goes third, ahead of Sutil and Nakajima, only to be demoted when Heidfeld posts 23.970 to take third.

On his first flying lap Hamilton makes a mistake at the first chicane which costs him precious time, meanwhile, Kovalainen goes seventeenth before improving to fifth (23.733).

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