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Sports

Vettel on pole for Italian Grand Prix after final practice

World champion Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position in a Red Bull one-two for the Formula One, Italian Grand Prix. In final practice, team-mate Mark Webber was only just behind Vettel.

The Red Bull team are to start the Italian Grand Prix on first and second place on the grid following final practice on Saturday.

Vettel set the fastest time with a lap of 1 minute 23.755 seconds at Monza for his fourth pole position this season. Mark Webber was 0.213 seconds behind. Sauber's Nico Huelkenberg took a surprise third place ahead of the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg starts sixth.

"I am very satisfied. It looks good for tomorrow," Vettel said. "This weekend the car was fantastic. We had a really strong pace yesterday and we were able to take that into qualifying today."

"In the end, it's a bit of a surprise to have both cars on front row at a place historically [where] we've had bad years," Vettel commented. "This year seems to work well and hopefully we'll have a good race tomorrow. We're able to match other cars down the straight and we know the corners, we have a strong car."

Huelkenberg's previous best finish for the Sauber team was eighth in Malaysia. He admitted he was surprised: "I didn't expect it especially after a very difficult Friday. The guys have done a fantastic job to turn the car around."

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes starts from 12th after driving off the track into the gravel. Hamilton, who won at Monza last year, was chasing a fifth successive pole position. Afterwards he criticized his performance in practice: "I just drove like an idiot," Hamilton said. "That's the worst I've driven for a long, long time. I'm sorry to the team."

Vettel currently has 197 points in the standings, Alonso has 151 and Hamilton 139.


jm/kms (dpa, AP, AFP)