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Lewis Hamilton takes pole position in Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton will start on pole position for the first time since May in the Italian Grand Prix after an ominous display in qualifying.

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Not since the Spanish Grand Prix four months ago has the Brit started at the front of the grid, but that long wait will end on Sunday after he clocked a sensational lap of one minute 24.109 seconds in Monza to ensure team-mate Nico Rosberg [1:24.383] had to settle for second place.

Hamilton had been quickest in two of the three practice sessions and on Friday spoke of his optimism that he could cut the 29-point gap to world championship leader Rosberg this weekend in an enthralling battle for the drivers' title.

And on the evidence of his performance in qualifying, he looks more than capable of achieving that after he ended Rosberg's run of four consecutive poles, with Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa third and fourth respectively.

Kevin Magnussen will start in fifth place ahead of McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, with Fernando Alonso seventh and Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez completing the top 10.

Hamilton was left fuming in Spa a fortnight ago, when he led the Belgian Grand Prix but was unable to finish after Rosberg had collided with his car.

Rosberg went on to finish second to increase his lead over the former world champion and the German later apologised before being fined and warned over his future conduct by his team.

Hamilton looks determined to put that behind him in Monza and after an encouraging performance in qualifying, he was fastest in all three segments.

Rosberg did improve his lap-time by just under two tenths of a second in his second run in Q3, but was not able to outpace Hamilton - who will start on the front of the grid for the first time in eight races.

Nine of the last 11 drivers to start on pole have won the Italian Grand Prix, so Hamilton will be hoping for no repeat of the drama in Spa as he goes in search of his sixth win of the season.

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