Monza, Italy (AP) — Ferrari will be hopeful of ending an eight-year wait for a win at its home track after taking the front two places on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix for the first time since 2000.
Surprisingly, it was Kimi Raikkonen who edged his teammate and title hopeful Sebastian Vettel in qualifying on Saturday to clinch only his second pole position in 10 years.
Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who saw his advantage cut to 17 points last weekend, was third fastest — missing out on pole at Monza for the first time in five years.
It was also a track record at Monza, with Raikkonen clocking 1:19.119 — at an average speed of 163.8 mph (263.6 kph) — to beat Juan Pablo Montoya’s 14-year mark.
Vettel thought he had secured pole as he outpaced Hamilton on the final lap and appeared to celebrate before being told on team radio that he had been beaten by Raikkonen.
“We speak later,” was Vettel’s terse response.
The four-time world champion was asked about the incident in the news conference later but only said: “Clearly I wasn’t happy but I won’t tell you why.”
Raikkonen, who was front of the grid in Monaco last year, was 0.161 seconds quicker than Vettel and 0.175 ahead of Hamilton.
The last time Ferrari took pole position for the Italian GP was in 2010, which was also the year it last won its home race, with Fernando Alonso driving.
Vettel became F1’s then-youngest race winner when he triumphed in Monza in 2008 with Toro Rosso. He also won the Italian GP in his 2011 and 2013 title years with Red Bull.
Hamilton has won four of the past six races in Monza. The Mercedes driver would tie Michael Schumacher’s record of five Italian GP victories with another win on Sunday.