When and where: Qualification for the Italian Grand Prix gets underway at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday. Coverage will be provided by Speed, while SpeedTV.com will have a live stream of the final practice session at 5 a.m. Live detailed timing and statistics will be provided by Formula1.com. Viewers in the U.K. can watch a live stream of qualifying on SkyPlayer.
Lewis Hamilton has been the focus of attention so far this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix.
Preview: Coming into the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, all the attention has been on one team: McLaren. The British-based outfit have claimed victory in the last two races and look to be the team to beat right now in the Formula One paddock.
But much of the focus has shifted from the team's performances on the track to events off it as speculation continues to mount about the future of Lewis Hamilton. The former world champion's contract expires at the end of the year, with negotiations thought to be still ongoing about a new deal.
Various reports have suggested that the 27-year-old could wind up at Mercedes, however, with former team owner Eddie Jordan suggesting that a deal may already be in place.
The uncertainty doesn't seem to be negatively impacting Hamilton's performances in Monza so far as he recorded the fastest time in Friday's second practice. Hamilton was keen not to get carried away, though, at this early stage of the weekend.
"Overall, today has been quite productive, and everything has gone smoothly," he said, according to Formula1.com. "Hopefully, we're not in a bad position, although there are still things we can improve on the car for tomorrow."
McLaren's form was backed-up by Jenson Button who recorded the second fastest time to his teammate, Hamilton. After claiming his second victory of the season in Belgium just last weekend, Button will hope to take momentum as he looks to get right back in the title picture.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso came third in the afternoon, but had a far from smooth day as his Ferrari suffered an engine failure and also ran off the track after a brake failure.
"Even if today was complicated, it was still positive: it's good that everything happened today, because we must try and avoid any problems tomorrow and Sunday," the Italian said.
There were few positives that can be taken from the day by Red Bull, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel coming 11th and 13th respectively, in the second session.
"I think overall we are not as quick as we would like to be, so there's still work to do," conceded Vettel. "I think we are more competitive in race trim, but we aren't where we want to be yet in terms of true pace."
Prediction: McLaren look the team to beat in qualifying and Hamilton could well put the off-the-track speculation behind him to claim pole on Saturday. Button should also fare well, while Mercedes could be pushing near the front of the grid with a track -featuring several long straights-that suits them much better than recent circuits.
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