As the saying goes, the right place at the right time. We could not have picked a better moment to get back on pole than here in Monza, after a drought that dates back to when Felipe Massa was on the top slot in the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008. What better place than at Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s home race, in front of all our enthusiastic fans who packed out the grandstand at the track today. Tomorrow, they will be putting their full support into urging forward the Prancing Horse cars as they strive to secure a meaningful result in this the fourteenth round of the season.
In terms of timing it is absolutely the right moment for Fernando Alonso to take his first ever pole at the wheel of a Ferrari, given that it puts him in the best possibile position to try and shut down the gap to series leader Lewis Hamilton in tomorrow’s race. Even if Felipe Massa was not too happy with the strategy adopted in Q3, his third place on the grid shows that the F10 is definitely well suited to the demands of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
However, while this enthusiasm is all well and good, the words of Stefano Domenicali and President Luca di Montezemolo, who was in Monza today to support the team, make a lot of sense, when they say everyone must now focus fully on tomorrow’s race.
Because Monza represents a challenge that is unique in a sport that is full of challenges. The fastest track on the calendar puts the whole car-driver package under enormous strain what with the need to keep the accelerator nailed to the floor for a long time on every single lap, not to mention the requirement for hard braking and the constant riding up and down the kerbs. No wonder then that everyone expects the 53 laps of the 61st Italian Grand Prix to be a really tough way to spend an afternoon.