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 - -

shares
comments
F1 race director Charlie Whiting slams 'ludicrous' FIA exit rumours

Previous article

F1 race director Charlie Whiting slams 'ludicrous' FIA exit rumours

Next article

Vettel: Mercedes 'in a world of their own' in Italian GP qualifying

Vettel: Mercedes 'in a world of their own' in Italian GP qualifying
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021