Ferrari could manage only 3rd and 5th places on the grid for their home race – the Italian Grand Prix at Monza – as the runaway McLarens locked out the front row of the grid. Fernando Alonso took pole position with Lewis Hamilton on P2 & Felipe Massa on P3. Ferrari could have had the 2nd row to themselves but for a late surge from BMW’s Nick Heidfeld, who took 4th position thus pushing back Kimi Raikkonen to 5th. Kimi had crashed heavly in the morning practice and though he was unhurt, the car was damaged and they had ti rig up a new one for him, with the older one’s engine and a rebuilt chassis. This could be the reason why he was way off the pace he demonstrated on Friday.
Alonso clocked the fastest time in each of the three qualifying sessions and his teammate was second consistently. Both the Ferraris were half-a-second slower and looked not in too perfect a race-trim. BMW’s Robert Kubica was 6th fastest whereas the ever-improving Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Rosberg took 7th and 8th place on the grid. Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button completed the top 10, Button’s performance underlining an improvement from Honda. The race tomorrow may yet throw up an interesting result and knowing tha overtaking is not too easy at Monza, Ferrari seem to have their task cut out. Moreso for Kimi Raikkonen who has to get past not only Heidfeld, but also his teammate in order to have a go at the McLarens. Only Massa has any real chance of ensuring a Ferrari home victory…but that too seems remote, given McLaren’s pace and reliability. Will be a good race to watch!