Lewis Hamilton is refusing to count his Italian Grand Prix chickens just yet, despite the form book suggesting that starting from pole position puts him in a good position to take victory on Sunday afternoon.

Amazingly, the statistics show that victory is more likely from the front of the grid at Monza than it is in simialr circumstances at Monaco, with nine of the past ten Italian Grand Prix polesitters triumphing in the race, but the Briton has his own reasons for not believing the hype.

"Not particularly," he grinned, "I think that the one that wasn't a winner was me! In 2009, maybe?

Hamilton, indeed, has yet to win the Italian round of the world championship, as has team-mate Jenson Button, but claiming top spot in qualifying nevertheless stands him in good stead, especially after revealing that his Q3 effort was only a 'half-decent' lap.

"It's been a tough weekend, but we've managed to work on the set-up and the package the guys bought from the factory - and they've done a fantastic job," he noted, "I had much, much better laps in practice, but I can't complain. Generally, I didn't think that [qualifying] lap was anywhere near good enough and I was up, I think, a couple of tenths in my second lap, but I was in a train of cars, [with] Kimi [Raikkonen] and two Ferraris in front, so I wasn't really able to better my lap.

"Nonetheless, I'm happy - and really happy for the team because they've been doing a fantastic job. Obviously, they had great success in the last race with Jenson, and to have us both up here is what they deserve."

Despite the week before the race being filled with speculation about his future with McLaren, Hamilton insisted that his focus was not being diverted by the rumours.

"I haven't had any distractions this weekend, so it's been quite positive," he claimed, "The support from my family and friends, as always, has been incredible, so I've just been enjoying the weekend, [and] its been pretty smooth so far. I've qualified on the front row for quite a few races now, so I just continue to do the same thing. I think it's nine times or something that I've been on the front row this year, so it's been pretty good for us."