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Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 14:05 UK

As it happened - Italian GP qualifying

Final qualifying result from Monza:

1 S Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso 1m 35.555

2 H Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 1:37.631

3 M Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:38.177

4 S Bourdais (Fr) Toro Ross 1:38.445

5 N Rosberg (Ger) Williams 1:38.767

6 F Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:38.894

7 J Trulli (It) Toyota 1:39.152

8 F Alonso (Sp) Renault 1:39.751

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

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By Julian Shea


"Well done Vettel and the STR team, no-one deserves a pole more. Reminds me a bit like when Rubens scored a pole for Jordan at Spa in 94. And lets not forget Bourdais' effort who really deserved a podium last weekend, hopeful luck will be with him this time."stattotheblade, via 606

1400: And that's how it finishes - pole position for Sebastian Vettel, 0.076 seconds ahead of Heikki Kovalainen, with Mark Webber nearly half a second off the pace in third.

1356: Having been fastest in qualifying 2, Vettel is now setting the pace in a blizzard of spray in the final qualifying session.

With conditions this bad, it's hard to see - no pun intended - how anyone can improve on their current times.

If so, it would be a first pole position for the 21-year-old German, who is apparently a big fan of Little Britain, trivia fans.

1354: "If it was getting silly before, it's gone well and truly hatstand now. No sooner does the rain ease off, than it starts pelting it down again."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1348: "The rain got worse during that middle part of qualifying and there was nothing that Hamilton or Raikkonen could do about it."
BBC Five Live's Maurice Hamilton

1345: "Well, McLaren well and truly messed that one up. And you have to give Massa credit for pulling out that lap that put him 10th - he set it at the same time as Hamilton went 15th.

"But it should make for a brilliant race as he and Raikkonen, whose unconvincing form continues, attempt to work their way through the field."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1344: HAMILTON IS OUT - 15th ON THE GRID.

The axe falls for the second time, and Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, David Coultahrd, Giancarlo Fisichella and Robert Kubica are the ones heading back to the dry of the pits to wonder where their day went wrong.

1341: "Hamilton is out."mysteriousblablabla, via 606

You may well be right. And with Felipe Massa looking like he will make it into the last qualifying session - only just, in 10th place - fuel has really been thrown on the fire of the championship race. Assuming any fire would survive this torrential rain, that is.

1339: Hamilton does the same as Raikkonen down at Ascari, skidding off and spinning, which wipes out the chances of recording a decent time on another lap. Only a few minutes to go now and it looks like Hamilton's decision to gamble on tyres has failed spectacularly.

There was a small window at the start of the session where the weather was marginally less bad than it is now - it could hardly be called good - he missed it, and he's now 1.7 seconds off 14th place. A horror show for the championship leader.

1337: "Conditions are worsening by the second."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1335: McLaren's misjudgement on Hamilton could be coming back to haunt them - he's currently only 15th fastest, last of the drivers left in competition. But Raikkonen is only one place ahead of him. We could be seeing some unfamiliar faces further back on the grid if it stays like this.

1332: Kimi Raikkonen just did very well to get back on track after aquaplaning off. A warning for everyone, surely - if the world champion can drop a clanger like that, everyone should be careful.

1332: Lewis Hamilton took a while to get out in the second session - with the conditions only going to get worse, could they have missed a trick there?

1330: "The second session starts and with it the rain comes pouring down again."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1328: "The first set of tyres was ok, we were p11 or 12 most of the time, but the second set was undrivable, it's the worst car I've driven in the wet for a long time.

"We thought conditions would help us. The car is very difficult to drive, I feel I'll put it in the wall every time I use the brakes."
Honda driver Jenson Button, who will start from the back of the grid after failing to get past the first qualifying session.

1324: "Kimi Raikkonen came perilously close to getting bumped in the first session there, and will struggle to make it into the top 10 shoot-out on that form. Not what you expect of the world champion. But then he has not been driving much like a world champion at times this year.

"People here remain mystified as to Ferrari's thinking following their decision on Saturday to extend his contract for another year."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1322: David Coulthard was in danger for a while there but put pulled himself clear at the death, so the unlucky drivers who have failed to survive the first cut are (starting from the back) Sutil, Button, Nakajima, Piquet and Barrichello. Not a good day for Honda.

"The rain has eased off a bit now - the track may get a little quicker in the last couple of minutes."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1317: A gap of 1.8 seconds separates leader Heikki Kovalainen from the cut-off point, a larger than usual space which can be put down to the weather. Barrichello, Nakajima, Piquet, Sutil and Fishichella are now in the drop zone, with Webber having sorted himself out and got up to 11th place.

At the front, Lewis Hamilton is doing well enough to keep him out of trouble, but is lapping a second behind leader Kovalainen.

1315: With just five minutes to go until the first elimination point, Mark Webber, Rubens Barichello, Kazuki Nakajima, Nelson Piquet and Giancarlo Fisichella are the ones who need to get their act together or they'll be back in the dry earlier than they would have hoped.

1309: "In theory, these conditions should be a great leveller of driver ability - allowing drivers with uncompetitive cars to show more of their worth. It should be a fascinating session."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1303: We're underway, and the view from the onboard cameras is absolutely treacherous because of the spray. Nick Heidfeld had a spin on his first lap, so the weather could make this a total lottery.

"When will the appeal get heard to get this Spa race sorted one way or t'other?" Inherent, via 606

22 September, the Monday before the next race in Singapore.

1255: As the weather gets worse, the waterproofs are going on and the noise of that rain must be music to the ears of Lewis Hamilton. What better way to silence his critics after last weekend than by taking his first Monza pole?

1250: "It had been dry for half an hour, but it's just started chucking it down again here. Qualifying will start on a wet track, conditions arelikely to change throughout and there seems a better than averagechance of a mixed-up grid, Which is always great news for a better-than-usual race."BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Monza

1230: Another weekend, another wet race! After last week's high jinks at Spa, the Formula One caravan moves on to Italy, and unfortunately it's brought the poor weather with it.

The row over Lewis Hamilton's demotion from first to third in Beligum has dominated conversation all week, so everyone associated with the sport will be hoping that events on the track rather than behind the scenes will grab the headlines back.

I want you to get involved as much as possible via 606 or text on 81111.

Join the debate on 606


see also
Sutil on top in rain-hit practice
12 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton finds little support
11 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton puts Spa saga behind him
11 Sep 08 |  Formula One
McLaren lodge Belgian GP appeal
10 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen vows to continue fight
10 Sep 08 |  Formula One


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