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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 September 2006, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
As it happened: Italian GP qualifying
1. Raikkonen (McLaren)

2. M Schumacher (Ferrari)

3. Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)

4. Massa (Ferrari)

5. Alonso (Renault) * later penalised

6. Button (Honda)

7. Kubica (BMW Sauber)

8. De la Rosa (McLaren)

Latest news (all times BST)

1900: Alonso drops down to 10th on the grid after being stripped of his three best qualifying times for impeding Felipe Massa. The Ferrari driver lodged a complaint with race stewards that Alonso had held him up and, despite protests of his innocence from Alonso, it was upheld.

1409: There are seconds to go and Massa is looking good but Kubica is flying in the first sector. Michael Schumacher is also out there and he grabs provisional pole to the cheers of the Italian crowd.

There is a sting in the tail though as Raikkonen springs a surprise and takes pole by just two thousandths of a second in 1:21.484.

The good work of the BMW Saubers also pays off as Heidfeld beats Massa to third and Alonso recovers well to move up to fifth just ahead of Button.

1405: Alonso is back out on the track but he can only manage eighth position. Raikkonen contines to sit in provisional pole with a time of 1:21.621 while the Ferraris are second and third.

1403: The cars get down to business and it is now surprise when Massa sets a flying lap in the Ferrari of 1:21.704. The Ferrari man is quickly overtaken by Kimi Raikkonen, who seems to have found his form in Monza.

1358: Jenson Button sets a pedestrian pace of 1:24.658 as the cars continue to tour round the Monza circuit well below race pace. Alonso nips down the escape lane off the first chicane, just as he looming large in Michael Schumacher's mirror.

The Spaniard appears to have had a puncture and he has to rush back to the pits for repairs. Will this affect Alonso's qualifying position?

1353: The cars peel out of the pits with Heidfeld leading the way as they set about the business of burning off fuel.

1345: De la Rosa pushes Button out of the top 10 but the Briton fires in a solid lap of 1:21.353 to climb up to seventh - and there are sighs of relief on his side of the Honda garage.

Klien (Red Bull), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), David Coulthard (Red Bull), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), Nico Rosberg (Williams) and Jarno Trulli (Toyota) do not make it through to the final shootout and will take up places 11-16 on the grid.

It remains tight amongst the remaining top 10 with BMW Sauber looking strong with Kubica jumping up to second and Heidfeld fifth. There is still all to play for and the cars refuel for the final session.

1344: Klien (Red Bull), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), David Coulthard (Red Bull), Nico Rosberg (Williams), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota) and Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) are in the drop zone with less than a minute left on the clock.

1340: Jenson Button has put out a decent lap to slot into ninth place but he goes back to the pits for some alterations to his Honda. Scot David Coulthard is in the dangerzone in his Red Bull as he lies in 14th place.

1339: Schumacher is edged out of top spot by McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen but the Finn's lead does not last long as Felipe Massa goes quickest with a blistering 1:21.225.

1335: Alonso wastes no time and sets a flying lap of 1:21.526 - the fastest seen so far in qualifying. Michael Schumacher noses out of the pits, eager to get his lap down and he is fractions up on Alonso.

1333: Christian Klien will play no part in the rest of the session because the mechanics cannot get his Red Bull back on the track so he will start 16th on the grid.

1330: The second session begins and Robert Kubica in his BMW Sauber is first out on the track.

1321: Mark Webber takes his Williams back into the pits and he will not go through to the second session. Christian Klien spins his Red Bull, which looks as though it will need some assistance to get off the track, but he should be safe for now.

He is, because it is the Super Aguri duo Sakon Yamamoto and Takuma Sato, Midland pair Tiago Monteiro and Christijan Albers, Webber and Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso), who are all eliminated in the first session.

1318: There are just four minutes left in the first session and the two Renaults finally come out onto the Monza track. Alonso pulls out a considerably better lap and jumps up to second with 1:21.747.

1314: Felipe Massa is the first significant player out on track and he is quickly followed by Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher. Massa sets 1:22.028 but he is quickly eclipsed by Schumacher, who sets 1:21.711.

1313: The session restarts after a lengthy delay and the drivers will be itching to set a meaningful time before the clock ticks down.

1305: Sakon Yamamoto sends a plume of rubber flying into the air as his left-rear Bridgestone tyre explodes. The red flag is being waved across the track which means the session is halted for now.

Course workers dressed in bright orange are on the track checking for debris while other Bridgestone runners - including Ferrari - will be anxiously wondering whether this will affect their performance too.

1304: Liuzzi sets the pace with a lap on one minute 24.344 seconds but he is quickly eclipsed by David Coulthard.

1300: The session gets under way with Vitantonio Liuzzi of Toro Rosso and Sakon Yamamoto of Super Aguri the first cars out on the tree-lined track.

1258: The drivers are making their final preparations for the first 15-minute qualifying spell around the 3.6m circuit.

1243: After the hot, hot heat of Istanbul, conditions are much more pleasant in Monza with temperatures of 27C with cloud-smeared skies. The track temperature is up at 41C.

1230: Michael Schumacher is entering the business end of what could be one of the most significant race weekends of his career.

The Ferrari driver is attempting to close the 12-point gap on Renault's Fernando Alonso at the top of the standings in Monza.

Schumacher kept his nose ahead of Renault in the final practice session, coming in third on the timesheets, two places ahead of Alonso.

Whatever happens on the track, the 37-year-old's future could become clearer when Ferrari announce their 2007 line-up at their home circuit after Sunday's race.

Felipe Massa proved Ferrari had the edge in Monza for now, however, as he set the pace in last free practice with a hot lap of one minute 21.665 seconds.

Jenson Button will be looking to set things straight in qualifying after Honda's attempt to trial their new engine spectacularly backfired in Monza.

The Briton and team-mate Rubens Barrichello have reverted back to the 2006 version but were pretty average in final practice.

  • The qualifying format sees all cars start on the track together, with three separate sessions in a one-hour period.

    The slowest six cars in the first 15-minute session drop out and take positions 17-22 on the starting grid. Six more are eliminated in the second session, taking places 11-16.

    The remaining 10 drivers then fight for pole position and the remaining places on the grid in the final 15-minute session.

    The final session used to be 20 minutes, but following a review it has been cut by five minutes.

    Cars which fail to reach the final session can be fully refuelled before the race starts whereas those in the top 10 can replace only what they used in the last part of qualifying.

    Massa puts Ferrari on top at home
    09 Sep 06 |  Formula One
    Ferrari set blistering Monza pace
    08 Sep 06 |  Formula One


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