Mclaren Front Row In Monza

Fernando Alonso led the McLaren charge in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix after he claimed his 17th career pole with a time of 1:21.997.

The pole was Alonso's second of the season and he will be joined by his McLaren-Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on the front row. Both drivers completed 17 laps in the three sesssions with Alonso's fast time coming in the last one.

"It is great to get pole position," Alonso said. "I have been doing some good qualifying laps at the last races but they have not always come together in the final session like it did today."

Felipe Massa, who is 15 points behind championship leader Hamilton, will start third in his Ferrari after recording a time of 1:22.549.

"I think third place was the best I could do this afternoon," Massa said. "We lacked a bit of speed to fight the McLarens for the front row but we know we are competitive in race trim, so we can be confident about tomorrow's race."

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld came on late to take away the fourth starting position from the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

"I am happy to be on the second row of the grid and I have a good feeling for the race," Heidfeld said. "On my final lap I made a small mistake in the last corner, perhaps it cost two tenths of a second, but the gap to third is six tenths so in the end my mistake didn't really make a difference."

Robert Kubica (BMW), Heikki Kovalainen (Renault), Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota), Jarno Trulli (Toyota) and Jenson Button (Honda) rounded out the top 10.

The morning practice saw Alonso quickest with a time of 1:22.054 late in the hour-long session which had been interrupted for 21 minutes by a red flag period brought about by Raikkonen crashing into the barriers.

Sunday's Italian Grand Prix is set to take the green flag at 8 a.m. (ET).

Race Center

Grand Prix of Brazil

@ Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sunday, November 24, 2013

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