Juan Pablo Montoya stormed to pole position at the Italian Grand Prix as McLaren left their rivals trailing.
1 K Raikkonen 1:20.878*
2 JP Montoya 1:20.878
3 F Alonso 1:21.319
4 J Button 1:21.369
5 T Sato 1:21.477
6 J Trulli 1:21.640
* = 10-place penalty
Montoya's lap of one minute 21.054 seconds was 0.176secs slower than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who starts 11th after an engine-change penalty.
Raikkonen's title rival Fernando Alonso is in a strong position to extend his lead after grabbing second place.
Jenson Button is third on the grid ahead of BAR-Honda team-mate Takuma Sato and Toyota's Jarno Trulli.
Michael Schumacher could qualify only seventh for Ferrari's home race, just ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello.
Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault and the Toyota of Ralf Schumacher completed the top 10, with David Coulthard 11th for Red Bull.
Raikkonen was demoted following an engine failure in his McLaren at the end of final practice on Saturday morning - the third time in six races he has suffered a similar penalty.
He will now be trying to limit the damage to his hopes in the championship, in which he is 24 points behind Alonso.
But McLaren boss Ron Dennis said he was optimistic Raikkonen could still beat Alonso and even win the race, claiming his cars were "a second a lap faster than anyone else".
Raikkonen said: "It's going to be difficult to try to win. That will all depend on what happens at the front of the race.
"It's not the perfect thing, but I cannot change it any more, so I will make the best of it. I know I'll sleep as good as ever. That won't change.
"If I can get through the first corner then I will be OK and after that I will push as hard and as fast as I can."
Montoya added: "We are clearly quicker than everybody else and if I can get a good run to the first corner then it should be good enough to win.
"It's obvious I want to try and help the team, and Kimi, but I doubt if I can help Kimi. I'm sure he will move up, so we will see."
Alonso said he was pleased to have been able to benefit from the lastest in a long line of McLaren failures.
He said second place was "the maximum" he could do, adding: "We are just trying to be as perfect as we can.
Schumacher was only seventh despite an impressive lap
"We are also taking the opportunities McLaren are giving us. Kimi's problem was a bit of a surprise, but it's helped me again."
Michael Schumacher's lap was among the most impressive of the session.
The Ferrari clearly continued to lack grip, but the German took it to the very limit at his team's home Grand Prix.
Antonio Pizzonia, who is replacing Nick Heidfeld at Williams after the German suffered headaches following a crash last week, was 16th fastest.
The Brazilian was 0.7secs slower than team-mate Mark Webber, who qualified 14th fastest.
Qualifying times at Italian Grand Prix:
1 Kimi Raikkonen* (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes one minute 20.878 seconds
2 Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.054
3 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:21.319
4 Jenson Button (GB) BAR-Honda 1:21.369
5 Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR-Honda 1:21.477
6 Jarno Trulli (ita) Toyota 1:21.640
7 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.721
8 Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Ferrari 1:21.962
9 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:22.068
10 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:22.266
11 David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:22.304
12 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber-Petronas 1:22.356
13 Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:22.532
14 Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-BMW 1:22.560
15 Felipe Massa (Brz) Sauber-Petronas 1:23.060
16 Antonio Pizzonia (Brz) Williams-BMW 1:23.291
17 Tiago Monteiro (Por) Jordan-Toyota 1:24.666
18 Robert Doornbos (Mon) Minardi-Cosworth 1:24.904
19 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan-Toyota 1:25.859
20 Christijan Albers (Ned) Minardi-Cosworth 1:26.964
* = penalised 10 places on grid for engine change