Saturday 11 September 2010

Monza Preview: Tight at the top

Lewis has topped the times in this morning's final practice session at Monza prior to qualifying. He probably is favourite for pole, though Monza may not quite be the McLaren walkover that has been predicted. There doesn't appear to be much between the top three teams. The top five cars were covered by just over two-tenths of a second this morning, and Webber probably would have been right among them had he not stopped out on the track (for the second session in a row).

Red Bull are possibly pleasantly surprised by how close they are to the front (having told all in advance that this weekend was a damage limitation exercise), and Vettel was but a squeak behind Hamilton in second place this morning. The extent to which Webber has been impeded by his reliability problems yesterday and today remains to be seen, however.

Ferrari also appear to be doing their usual trick of finding something at Monza, neither car was far away and Alonso may well have topped the times this morning but for being mucked about by Kamui Kobayashi on his last run.

Another issue is that it appears that McLaren have split their ticket on set-up, with Jenson going with the f-duct and Lewis not. On the evidence of this morning Jenson may have got that one wrong.

Sit tight, today's qualifying could be a good one.

As an aside, I've had a good time watching the practice sessions so far, as they bring back happy memories of attending the event last year. I recommend that you add going to the Italian GP at Monza to your 'things to do before you die' list. The passion and atmosphere of the tifosi needs to be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated, and the place is dripping with motor sport heritage.

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