F1 and Alonso surprised with Ferrari pole

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Ferrari produced the biggest qualifying surprise of the season today in Monza, after becoming only the third team this season to secure pole position with Fernando Alonso. The Scuderia had not scored pole position in over a year and a half, the most recent one being at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, with today's result coming at the perfect time as Alonso looks to put himself back in championship contention.

Even Alonso himself was surprised at taking pole, his first since last year's Hungarian Grand Prix. "Well, it was a nice surprise," he said after qualifying. "When I stopped in parc ferme and by radio they told me that we were keeping the first position but still cars on their laps and Jenson was pink in the second sector, so I thought now at the end as sometimes already happened this year someone will arrive at the last lap and we will be second or third by hundredths of seconds. In the end, today was different."

So impressive was the performance of the F10 on Monza's long straights that team-mate Massa was disappointed to qualify third. When asked if he was satisfied with his performance, he responded "No, no, because I think the possibility of pole position was there," he said. "I had a little bit of trouble to make the tyres work straight away on the first lap which was the case for Fernando and then when I tried the soft tyres in Q2, the last lap was the best."

As for tomorrow's race, Alonso insists he needs at least a podium to stay in championship contention. "I think tomorrow we need a podium minimum to remain in the fight," he added. "There is not a big pressure, a big stress about winning the race or winning the next races but at the same time we know we cannot afford another DNF or another bad result."