Anthony Davidson will be starting the Italian Grand Prix from 14th on the grid after a solid qualifying performance that put the Super Aguri driver comfortably ahead of his nearest rivals.
He left team-mate Takuma Sato behind by little more than a tenth of a second to make it through to Q2 and to help deny the Japanese driver a second outing altogether.
He eventually recorded a fastest lap time of 1:23.274, putting him ahead of big names like Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella, Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher and Red Bull’s David Coulthard who spun off the track with gearbox problems in the closing seconds of Q1.
Speaking after the session he said: “It was a good qualifying session following quite a difficult week so far and also the red flag in FP3 today which put us all out of the running for a while.
“This made it difficult to get a nice balance for the first lap in qualifying, but as the rubber came to the circuit, the car kept improving and we got the finer details of the car balance right, enabling me to hook up a good lap again and take 14th position.
“To be above our nearest rivals again, and also a Renault, is quite an achievement, so I am chuffed with that.”
Super Aguri sporting director Graham Taylor added: “The red flag in FP3 cost us one set-up balance run, but we still got most of the testing work done.
“It is so close on the time sheets, with just one hundredth of a second keeping Taku out of Q2. It was an excellent lap from Anthony just when he needed it and another very good run in Q2.”