Italian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton dominates Monza qualifying

Lewis Hamilton comfortably claimed pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, after getting the best of a private battle for top spot with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg

Italian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton dominates Monza qualifying

Mercedes suffered no repeat of the super-soft tyre woes that hampered the team in qualifying at Spa last time out, and the updated Ferrari was not fast enough to challenge at its home track, so the Mercedes drivers were free to engage in a personal duel for pole at Monza.

Hamilton was nearly three tenths quicker than Rosberg after their first runs in Q3, and extended that gap to almost half a second with a mighty 1m21.135s effort on his second run.

Sebastian Vettel dragged his Ferrari below 1m22s on his final run, but that still left him more than three tenths of a second adrift of Rosberg in third.

Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was quicker than Vettel after their first runs in Q3, but failed to improve on his second set of tyres so slipped to fourth.

Valtteri Bottas was in fine form for Williams and pipped Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull to fifth by just 0.001s.

Max Verstappen rounded out the top seven in the second Red Bull, ahead of Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.

Esteban Gutierrez impressively got Haas into the top 10 in qualifying for the first time, but then endured a scrappy Q3 session.

He ran off track at the Lesmos on his first Q3 run and failed to better his Q2 time on his second, which left him 10th.

Felipe Massa failed to improve on his final run in Q2, so was bumped out of the top 10 by a fine lap from Gutierrez, plus marginally better times by both Force India drivers, and the Red Bulls abandoning plans to progress on the soft tyre and then turning in quicker super-soft laps at the death.

Massa wound up 11th fastest in a car fast enough for the top six, while the second Haas of Romain Grosjean found nearly half a second on its second Q2 run but this was only good enough for 12th.

He will drop a further five places on the grid thanks to a penalty for changing his gearbox after the final practice session.

Pascal Wehrlein impressively split McLaren-Honda's past world champions with the 14th fastest time, just 0.042s slower than Fernando Alonso and 0.044s quicker than Jenson Button.

Carlos Sainz Jr managed to drag a sub-1m23.5s lap out of his underpowered Toro Rosso, but this was only good enough to make him the slowest driver in Q2, just under a tenth back from Button.

Daniil Kvyat joined the Saubers, Renaults and Esteban Ocon's Manor in failing to escape Q1.

Kvyat swore furiously over team radio after missing the cut by just 0.042s, as Toro Rosso team-mate Sainz, both McLarens and Wehrlein's Manor all made it through with last-gasp improvements.

Felipe Nasr was 18th fastest in the best of the Saubers, complaining an engine misfire cost him a shot at finding the two tenths he needed to make it through to Q2.

Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was just over a tenth slower in 19th, ahead of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen, who survived a big moment exiting the Ascari chicane on his final run.

Ocon's car broke down on track for the second time this weekend, before he could set a time.

PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m21.135s -
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.613s 0.478s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m21.972s 0.837s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m22.065s 0.930s
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m22.388s 1.253s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m22.389s 1.254s
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m22.411s 1.276s
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m22.814s 1.679s
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m22.836s 1.701s
10 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m23.184s 2.049s
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m22.967s -
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m23.273s -
13 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m23.315s -
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m23.399s -
15 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m23.496s -
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m23.825s -
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m23.092s -
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m23.956s -
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m24.087s -
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m24.230s -
21 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m24.436s -
22 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes - -

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