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Mini_759072754_2008_italian_grand_prix_qualifying
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Italian Grand Prix Qualifying
Image: courtesy of Daimler AG

Sebastian Vettel Takes His First F1 Pole At Monza, Italy

Sebastian Vettel (centre), driving the Toro Rosso F1 car, displayed superb wet weather driving skills to take his first ever pole position for tomorrow's Santander Italian Grand Prix at the Monza circuit in Italy. Vettel was congratulated by many of the other F1 drivers for his top performance. In a wet qualifying session that gave the Monza circuit unpredictable braking zones, Vettel was able to take the pole with a time of 1m37.555. Heikki Kovalainen (right) in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was extremely close to Vettel's pace and was just 0.076 seconds behind the pole position time. Third on the grid was taken by Mark Webber (left) in the Red Bull F1 car.

Vettel's pole gave Gerhard Berger's Toro Rosso F1 team its first ever team pole and he was congratulated by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' Ron Dennis for the excellent result. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' Heikki Kovalainen said the following about his second place position on the grid " A really close session; I missed pole by just 0.076 seconds. My first attempt in Q3 wasn't perfect and further rain later in the session made it impossible to improve. On my final run I gave it everything, but there wasn't enough grip to beat Sebastian Vettel. But congratulations to him on his first pole."

Unfortunately for Lewis Hamilton Monza was not kind to him for qualifying. In the first part of the session, Hamilton made the decision to take his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car out on wet tires and then had some difficulty getting grip to get a good qualifying lap. Later on in the session he switched to extreme tires but got caught in rain and ended up with a best time of 1m39.265 and starts tomorrows race 15th on the grid.

Hamilton said "Its the first time this has happened to me in Formula 1, so I really can't complain - tomorow's another day and we still have a fighting chance to make our way up the grid. I'll be doing the best job I can."

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