McLaren favourites for Monza victory which is theirs to lose
9 September, 2012
Sep.9 (Apex) McLaren will start the Italian Grand Prix for from the front row of the grid, their third successive pole position, and 23rd top spot start of Lewis Hamilton’s career, with Jenson Button next best leaving the English drivers perfectly placed for a third win in a row and the pair are optimistic about their chances but taking nothing for granted.
Hamilton said after qualifying, “It’s going to be a fast, tough race tomorrow. Jenson and the Ferraris are very quick, but we’ve got a good car and a good set-up, and we’re in the best possible position to score maximum points.”
“This is a fabulous day for the whole team – they’ve done a fantastic job to get our car into this position, so I want to say a huge thanks to them. The whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team deserves this result,” added Hamilton who is amid, headline grabbing, strenuous contract negotiations with his team.
He added, “This is a beautiful track; it’s so fast that you really need to respect it. Monza has such great history too, and, at some stage, I’d love to become part of that history. For the moment, though, I’m just looking for a strong, consistent race tomorrow, because I need to score some good points.”
Button, fresh from his Spa triumph, was happy with his performance, “It’s been a really good day for us. Congratulations to Lewis and the whole team – they’ve done a fabulous job to get us in this position.”
“We didn’t consider trying to tow each other around as some of the others did – it’s a difficult thing to get right and if you get it wrong you end up being compromised elsewhere around the lap,” no doubt alluding to Ferrari’s plan to slipstream one another which backfired when Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari suffered a mechanical failure in Q3, when the Spaniard looked on course for pole but instead will start tenth..
“Happily, we’re in the best position possible: the past few races have really shown the strength of our car,” said Button.
And pointed out, “There haven’t been any first-corner incidents at the front of the grid for the last couple of years here, so Lewis and I will just be focusing on getting our two cars out of the first corner in front of all the others.”
Neither Hamilton or Button have ever stood on the top step of the Monza podium, and this year’s edition of the Italian GP is probably the best chance they are going to get to do so.
Ironically McLaren have not won at Monza since, their main title rival, Alonso won for them back in 2007. They have nine victories in Italy, second only to Ferrari who have triumphed 19 times on home soil.
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