Ferrari number one driver Fernando Alonso was happy and relieved after taking pole position for the F1 2010 Italian Grand Prix today and he said they have to 'make the most of the opportunity now' on race day.
Alonso led throughout the third and final phase of knock-out qualifying, with McLaren and Red Bull unable to do anything about his 1 minute 21.962 second lap, the best posted by anyone all weekend.
In the end it was a special result for the Spaniard coming on his first outing with the Scuderia at the Maranello-based outfit's home circuit. It was also his and Ferrari's first pole of the season and Ferrari's first P1 since the Brazilian GP back in 2008.
"Pole position at last! And it's come at the best possible place, here in front of all the Ferrari fans!" Alonso said. "We managed to save two sets of new soft tyres for Q3 and so we were able to post a time immediately, before giving it absolutely everything on the second run. In fact, the time on the first run was good enough.
"The team and I have been without a pole for too long and two Ferraris in the top three is a fantastic result. At this track, the car really gets a hard time so we must try and keep all the parameters under control. We must make the most of this opportunity to bring home a lot of points: we will try and get a good start and tackle the first chicane as cleanly as possible, which is always difficult on the first lap.
"We needed this result: coming off the back of a weekend like Spa-Francorchamps, which had raised some doubts about the car, but here it has improved a lot day after day. It would be nice to get a one-two tomorrow in front of our fantastic fans: I feel at home here, just like in Spain."
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo meanwhile was also delighted, although he added that Sunday is the day that really counts.
"I am very happy about this result, which I found so exciting that I was jumping for joy on the pit wall," he continued. "Having both our cars on the front two rows in front of all our fans is very nice. It goes without saying, this track has always delivered strong emotions for me.
"The team did a really, really great job and never gave up trying. Now we must concentrate fully because the hardest part is still to come tomorrow," he summed-up.