Force India got a big boost ahead of the Sunday's Italian GP, as its driver Adrian Sutil finished second in the qualifying round. Lewis Hamilton took the pole position while Giancarlo Fisichella is positioned at 14th on the grid.
Lewis Hamilton of McLaren will start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after leading qualifying on Saturday, and Giancarlo Fisichella will make his Ferrari debut from 14th on the grid.
The defending Formula One champion set a leading lap time of 1 minute, 24.066 seconds at the Monza circuit.
Force India driver Adrian Sutil will start from a career best second, while Kimi Raikkonen goes third for Ferrari at its home circuit and the season’s fastest race.
Overall F1 leader Jenson Button starts sixth, one spot behind closest title rival and Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello.
Red Bull pair Sebastian Vettel and Markl Webber start ninth and 10th, respectively.
Sutil will be looking to follow up Force India’s first finish in the points with another top-three finish after Fisichella finished second from pole position at Spa.
“It’s a great moment, a great day for me,” the German driver said. “The car is amazing, really quick, unbelievable. It’s such a different feeling in the car right now knowing that you have a chance.”
Sutil, a close friend of Hamilton’s and who he also raced against in feeder series, knows he’ll have to stay aggressive going into the first corner, especially with Heikki Kovalainen of McLaren starting fourth.
“A lot of KERS cars around me,” Sutil said. “It’s going to be a hard fight for my position at the start.”
Raikkonen had already set his sights on Hamilton.
“Force India we can jump but McLaren, probably not,” the Finnish driver said.
Ferrari hired Fisichella after Spa to replace Luca Badoer, who classified last in the two races since taking over for the injured Felipe Massa.
“I think he did quite well,” Sutil said of his former teammate. “Fourteenth position is not so bad.”
Tonio Liuzzi, Fisichella’s replacement, will start seventh after getting in an F1 car for the first time since 2007.
Fisichella will be the first Italian to race a Ferrari at Monza since Ivan Capelli in 1992 to give the home fans something to cheer about with no championship fight this year.
Both championship leaders endured disappointing performances, although Red Bull’s title hopes are likely to take the biggest hit after trailing both Brawn GPs.