Fernando Alonso put the Ferrari fastest in the Q1 session in Italy, beating Lewis Hamilton by a small margin. There was then a big gap back to Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Paul di Resta (who has a five-place grid penalty), Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, Pastor Maldonado (who has two five-place penalties to take into consideration), Bruno Senna and Kimi Raikkonen.
Eleventh was Sergio Perez, ahead of Michael Schumacher. Kamui Kobayashi, Mark Webber, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, Jerome d’Ambrosio, the two Caterhams, the two Marussias and the two HRTs. Nico Hulkenberg failed to set a time because of mechanical trouble with his Force India.