Felipe Massa grabbed himself a potentially valuable advantage for the Italian Grand Prix by making it through the second phase of qualifying when his three main title rivals slipped up in treacherous conditions.

The Brazilian may only have ended the 15-minute session in tenth spot, but achieved that position as conditions worsened - and the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica were unable to lap as fast.

Hamilton, acknowledged as possibly the best wet-weather driver in the field, had made the mistake of trying Bridgestone's intermediate tyre at the start of the session but, having found that it offered no advantage, missed the window when the best times were being set on the more extremely-cut rubber. Mired in 15th place, he still had the opportunity to improve, but simply could not find the time in his McLaren to do so, spinning at Ascari.

Raikkonen was similarly affected, also having a moment at Ascari, and will line up just one place ahead of Hamilton, while Kubica dropped to eleventh as Massa improved in the final six minutes. The Ferrari driver was among the very last to find time, and was able to hold on to tenth spot, just enough to progress into the final shoot-out and retain a chance of taking pole position.

Giancarlo Fisichella will start a season-high twelfth for Force India, while David Coulthard will line-up 13th.

Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time of the session, but was some six-tenths off Heikki Kovalainen's Q1 benchmark, and pipped the Finn to top spot by 0.006secs. Nico Rosberg - a top five regular in the conditions - Jarno Trulli and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the leading quintet, while Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Timo Glock and Nick Heidfeld also made it through to the final phase.

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