(CNN) -- Two-time champion Fernando Alonso claimed pole position for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix with a blistering last lap in qualifying.
Alonso, fifth in the driver rankings, rounded the circuit in one minute 21.962 seconds at the famous Monza racetrack to claim his maiden pole for Ferrari
"It's a fantastic place, to have pole position in Italy for Ferrari," said Alonso, who was the only driver to break the one minute 22 second barrier.
Defending champion Jenson Button was second fastest for McLaren in one minute and 22.084 seconds, ahead of Alonso's Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa.
Button said: "I'm happy to be second. It's the first time on the front row this season so a step forward. It's a good start and hopefully it will be a competitive race."
Next came Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull, Briton Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren and sixth-placed German Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull.
Championship leader Hamilton, who chose a very different set-up from Button, said he was disappointed.
"It (not using the F-duct) potentially had a quite a big impact on the end result in qualifying and I'm disappointed with fifth place. The car was sliding everywhere. It was the wrong choice, a bit of a mistake, but we'll push on tomorrow," Hamilton said.
Germans Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg were seventh and eighth for Mercedes and Williams respectively with Pole Robert Kubica ninth for Renault and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello 10th in the second Williams.
Michael Schumacher, the winner of seven drivers world titles, was unable to improve on 12th for the Mercedes team and failed to make the cut into the top ten shootout.
Russian Vitaly Petrov will lose five places on the grid after impeding German Timo Glock during qualifying.
The Renault driver blocked Glock as he joined the track from the pits, when the Virgin driver was starting a flying lap on Saturday.
Glock was forced to slow down as Petrov drove slowly through the first chicane.
Petrov, who qualified in 15th, was given a five-place penalty.
Glock himself faces a probable five-place grid penalty after his Virgin Racing team worked on his gearbox following Saturday morning's final free practice session, according to Agence-France Presse.
The team were forced to break a seal on the his gearbox to replace the differential, a breach of the sport's technical rules.