Lewis Hamilton has taken his fifth pole at Monza by almost half a second over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. It has been a strong weekend for Hamilton who has topped a three practices.
Hamilton put in a good performance starting in Q1 when he comfortably set the fastest lap ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kyvat. He then went faster in Q2 before setting the pole time in Q3. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will start third ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Rosberg however will have the upper hand as he set his Q2 on tyres has Hamilton flat spotted his tyre which he set his fastest time on. But Mercedes may ask the stewards if he could switch to tyres he hasn’t flat spotted.
Hamilton told the BBC he was “incredibly proud and honoured” to have matched Senna and Fangio. Speaking about the flat spot he told Sky Sports he said “The flat-spot is minimal and I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Ferrari were expected to be the best of the rest as their nearest rivals Red Bull lack the horsepower to challenge on Monza’s high speed straights. Vettel’s best lap was over half a second down on the pace set by set by the Mercedes
Red Bull were also out quailed by the Mercedes powered Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
“It looks like they are in a world of their own,” Vettel said about the Mercedes to Sky Sports.
The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen was seventh and eighth respectively. It was a good qualifying for Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez who got Haas through to their first Q3 of their career. But this came at the expense of Williams’s Felipe Massa who missed out on Q3 by a hundredth of a second.
While there were celebrations on one side of the Haas garage on Romain Grosjean’s side there was a damage limitation exercise needing to be done. The Frenchman qualified twelve but following problems in FP3 Haas were forced to change his gearbox which drops him back to eighteenth.
Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein put in another great performance in getting through to Q2 for the second time in seven days. Wehrlein managed to spilt both the McLaren’s of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
Force India’s Sergio Perez will start eighth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg. – Perez only made it through to Q3 in the closing stages of the second part of the session.
This weekend was expected to be tough for both the Renault’s with Jolyon Palmer out qualifying Kevin Magnussen on the back row. Esteban Ocon’s Manor cut out again as it had in FP3, stranding him at the first chicane on his out lap.