Lewis Hamilton secured pole position today in qualifying for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the thirteenth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship, but only just as Adrian Sutil almost made it two in a row for Force India.

Hamilton was on the pace throughout, setting the second best time in both Q1 and Q2. In the final top-ten shoot-out he again looked strong in his McLaren-Mercedes and he held P1 until right at the end when Sutil demoted him to second.

However, Hamilton was still on track and clocking up best sector times, and he just edged back in front with a 1 minute 24.066 second lap, which was 0.195 seconds up Sutil.

Sutil thus had to settle for second and it could so nearly have been pole, especially as he made a slight error at the first Lesmo.

All-in-all though it was still another great result for Force India - following on from Giancarlo Fisichella's pole and runners-up spot at Spa, and with his replacement, Vitantonio Liuzzi also making it through to the final shoot-out and qualifying seventh, more points seem likely for the Silverstone-based outfit.

Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari, almost half a second off Hamilton, with the second McLaren and fellow Finn, Heikki Kovalainen fourth.

Rubens Barrichello completed the top five, 0.015 seconds up on his Brawn GP team-mate and current championship leader, Jenson Button - both apparently running heavier than those up ahead.

Further down the order, after Liuzzi in seventh, came Renault's Fernando Alonso and then the Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Jarno Trulli just missed the cut for Q3 and had to settle for eleventh spot in his Toyota, followed by Romain Grosjean and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica. Kubica and his team-mate, Nick Heidfeld both bowed out in Q2 early on, when engine problems sidelined them.

Giancarlo Fisichella was the other scalp in Q2 - the Italian will start 14th, sandwiched between the two BMWs. His best time was a 1m 23.901s, a good three to four tenths off making it into the final session and not exactly a dream start to his five-race stint at Ferrari. Indeed had he stayed with Force India he might have been on the front row.

Of the rest Timo Glock was unable to join his Toyota team-mate in Q2 and will start 16th, just ahead of Williams duo Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg, the latter suffering his worst qualifying session of the year.

At the rear it was the Toro Rosso's of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, quite a contrast considering this time twelve months ago at Monza the team took pole and the victory. Buemi's best was a 1m 24.220s, seven tenths up on Alguersuari.

To see the full times from qualifying at Monza click here.


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