Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Italian GP commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Follow live Formula 1 updates on all of the Saturday action at Monza ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

Live: F1 Italian GP commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Max Verstappen comes into the final European race of the season on red-hot form with four consecutive wins, which has seen him stretch his F1 world championship lead to 109 points.

It means the pressure increases on home favourites Ferrari and Charles Leclerc who need a strong performance after a tough run of races.

A host of F1 drivers will take grid penalties into the race, headlined by Lewis Hamilton who will start from the back of the grid for taking an new power unit, while Verstappen takes a five-place grid drop.

By: James Newbold, Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb

Summary

Leaderboard

  1. Leclerc, Ferrari
  2. Verstappen, Red Bull
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Russell, Mercedes
  7. Norris, McLaren
  8. Ricciardo, McLaren
  9. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  10. Alonso, Alpine
Status: Stopped
The Italian GP gets going tomorrow at 2pm BST (3pm local time), so please be sure to check back with us tomorrow for all the pre-race build-up and live action. Until then, go well!
The immediate reaction from the F1 teams and drivers is that they are also not totally sure what the grid will look like tomorrow. Whatever happens, it makes for an intriguing race.
While we reach for the calculator to figure out the starting grid post-penalties, we can say with confidence Leclerc is on pole with Russell alongside him on the front row and Norris in third. At the back it will be Sainz P18, Hamilton P19 and Tsunoda P20. The rest is 'open to interpretation'.
It'll need confirming by the FIA, but by our count the front of the grid is: Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Gasly, Alonso, de Vries, Zhou, Latifi.
Verstappen, who qualified second but by our count should start fourth due to grid penalties for others, said: "It was close but we chose to go for a bit more downforce around here. Over one lap it is not the best but tomorrow we can be strong."
Leclerc on his Italian GP pole: "It was not an easy qualifying even though I knew there was a lot of potential in the car... the feeling with the car is amazing and I hope we can do just like 2019."
Leclerc hops out of his Ferrari to the cheers from the Tifosi. He's joined in the top three celebrations by Verstappen and Sainz, who still get to enjoy it despite the incoming grid penalties.
 
Russell will join Leclerc on the front row tomorrow despite qualifying sixth fastest due to penalties for Verstappen, Sainz, Perez and Hamilton ahead of him.
Both Gasly and Alonso lose their final Q3 laps for exceeding track limits, which puts them ninth and 10th before the grid drops are applied.
...and Leclerc completes the lap to get pole for the Italian GP! A 1m20.161s beats Verstappen who puts in a 1m20.306s!
Leclerc is fractionally off in the first sector but is faster than Verstappen...
All 10 drivers out on track again. Final Q3 laps coming up.
Alonso backed out of his first lap entirely, pitting before the line, complaining of tyre temperature. This time he's heading out early ahead of the final Q3 laps.
Russell: "Tyres are nowhere," as he goes fifth quickest, but almost a full second slower than Sainz's leading effort. It would still give him a front row spot as things stand.
No team-mate tow tactics at Ferrari yet, with Leclerc starting his first lap ahead of Sainz who has the penalty. But Mercedes are trying the tow with penalty-due Hamilton leading Russell.
As Nessun Dorma plays over the Monza speakers before the start of Q3, that song and the talk of penalties is giving us serious Italia 90 flashbacks.
Time for Q3! Where only six drivers can actually get pole position out of the 10 drivers in the session. Grid penalties, eh?
 
Up until that lock-up it was a cracking showing by Nyck de Vries given he only found out about his Williams call-up this morning. Due to grid penalties ahead of him he'll start in the top 10 tomorrow.
Ricciardo is the biggest improver to jump up to eighth and it dumps Ocon out in Q2!
De Vries gets to sideways under braking at Variante della Roggia and that ends his lap early.
Yep, they all come out together apart from both Ferraris, Red Bulls and Tsunoda. The frontrunners look confident of their Q3 spots, while Tsunoda has a back of the grid penalty to serve so he's opting for an early bath.
Now it all goes quiet ahead of the final Q2 runs. This could be a case of who blinks first to grab a tow for the last laps.
All Q2 drivers apart from Tsunoda have set a lap time, so in danger of dropping out are: Bottas, de Vries, Zhou, Ricciardo and Tsunoda.
Leclerc stiches his lap together to slot into second place, 0.330s off Sainz, having to catch a small slide through Ascari.
Leclerc fluffs his first lap in this session as he runs on at the first corner, so he has to back out of it and go again.
Sainz, definitely not in a family car, sets the Q2 benchmark of 1m20.878s to beat Verstappen and Perez.
The F1 infographics throws up a great but pointless fact: a family car is 75 seconds per lap slower around Monza than an F1 car. Somebody go and test that out later tonight, please.
Red Bull has had enough of this hanging around and gets going, only to be followed out of the pits by 11 other drivers.
Anyway, on with Q2. Not that anyone fancies it early doors.
So both Haas cars qualify last and both serve 15-place grid drops each, but due to back of the grid penalties for Sainz, Hamilton and Tsunoda they will both be promoted up the order by three spots. Go figure.
Out in Q1: P16 Latifi, P17 Vettel, P18 Stroll, P19 Magnussen, P20 Schumacher.
Latifi does the same as Schumacher, locking up at Turn 1, so he's out in Q1 by just 0.020s, despite De Vries losing his fastest lap for track limits. It means little as the F1 debutant is into Q2 and beats his team-mate.
It was a messy end to Q1 for both Haas drivers as well, as Schumacher locks up at Turn 1 and has to run on, wrecking his final lap.
Stroll joins his Aston Martin team-mate as a Q1 outcast after failing to improve sufficiently.
Vettel lifts himself to 14th, but is quickly displaced by Bottas and Gasly, so he is out in Q1.
All drivers apart from the Red Bulls, Ferraris and AlphaTauri's Tsunoda out on track for a final Q1 run.
Magnussen gets himself up to 11th... but not for long as the lap is deleted for exceeding track limits, so he's put back to 16th.