Following the summer break and Jenson Button’s return to form barely a week ago in Belgium, it was anyones guess who’d be able to take control of qualifying in Monza.

Fernando Alonso looked strong to build on his championship lead in the first two rounds, but come the top 10 shoot out and it just didn’t come together with reports of technical issues with his car – he’ll start from 10th for the race.

Mark Webber couldn’t even manage to get into Q3, stuck down in 11th when his reigning champion teammate could only sneak through and grab 6th.

McLaren must have done some serious development since Hungary, because come the final battle for pole and no one could touch Lewis’ fastest lap, besides Jenson Button who lines up second.

Lewis and Jenson make it a British 1-2 for the start of the Italian Grand Prix – credit: McLaren Media

Paul Di Resta had a superb run in the force india to grab 4th, albeit he’ll start a net 9th place following a gearbox change.  Michael Schumacher beat his team mate and following Di Resta’s penalty, he’ll start an impressive 4th with Rosberg 6th.  Not a bad day at all for Mercedes, their double DRS didn’t help them as much as people thought it may, but you can still expect them to be a force in the race.

Kimi Raikkonen’s season-long threat of winning a race in his comeback season isn’t looking any stronger with a frankly disappointing 7th, just ahead of Kobayashi in the ever-improving Sauber.  Time for a magnum and bit of reflection for the Finn if he’s planning on getting merry on the champagne come Sunday afternoon.

Surprise of the day has to be Felipe Massa who popped in a great time to start 3rd for Sunday’s grand prix.  Well done, we’re not sure what Rob Smedley said to the Brazilian, but it definitely worked a treat.

Here’s the top 10 for the race:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Jenson Button
  3. Felipe Massa
  4. Michael Schumacher
  5. Sebastian Vettel
  6. Nico Rosberg
  7. Kimi Raikkonen
  8. Kamui Kobayashi
  9. Paul Di Resta (5 place penalty)
  10. Fernando Alonso