A Ferrari will start on pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza but, to the dismay of the tifosi
, it will be in the back of Sebastian Vettel's Toro Rosso.
The German was the class of the field as rain continued to play havoc with a qualifying session that had already seen Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica miss the cut in Q2, and was still lapping within half a second of his pole time as the downpour intensified. He eventually ended up taking the team's first pole - and the first of a history that stretches back to the Minardi days - with a lap of 1min 37.555secs.
That was just enough to see off the ever-present threat of Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren, which improved to 1min 37.631secs even as the weather worsened, and Mark Webber, who displaced the second Toro Rosso of Sebastien Bourdais with his very last lap, but was six-tenths shy of the pole.
Bourdais spun on his last flying attempt, but managed to retain fourth, where he will line up ahead of Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa, the only title contender to make it into the top ten, but failing to capitalise on his rivals' absence in terms of grid position.
Jarno Trulli, Fernando Alonso, Timo Glock and Nick Heidfeld round out the top half of the grid.
Full report and times to follow.....