Lewis Hamilton has taken pole with the fastest ever lap in Formula 1 while home team Ferrari failed to make it into the top-10 shootout for the second week running at the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton took his 94th career pole by just 0.069s from teammate Valtteri Bottas. His time, a 1m18.887s, was a track record for Monza and the fastest lap recorded in F1 machinery, coming in at an average speed of 164.267mph.
“It really demanded a clean lap, and I think I got that on both,” Hamilton said. “Valtteri was very, very close.”
Bottas lamented lacking the benefit of a slipstream on his Q3 laps but pinned his hopes on what he hopes will be better race pace than his teammate.
“It was pretty close, as I was expecting,” he said. “At the end I was on my own. It’s not too bad a place to be, but obviously you don’t get any gains in a straight line.
“I think my long-run pace also compared to Lewis was good, so it’s going to be a good race tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz qualified a sensational third for McLaren. It was the Spaniard’s best-ever qualifying result, albeit 0.808s off the pace as the fastest non-Mercedes car.
“I’ve been feeling very strong since the start of qualifying,” he said. “I’m actually shaking a bit because …I had to really go for it.
“(Race pace) is not as good as P3, but we’ll try to hang on there …I thought (Renault) were going to be quicker than us, but this lap helps.”
For the second weekend in a row Ferrari failed to get either car into Q3. Charles Leclerc was knocked out a lowly 13th, while Sebastian Vettel couldn’t even make it through Q1, qualifying 17th.
It’s the first time since 1984 that at least one Ferrari hasn’t started from inside the top 10 at this circuit, and not since 1966 has a Ferrari started outside the top 15 at Monza.
Ferrari had hoped the lack of aerodynamic demands at the Monza circuit would bring it marginally closer to the front of the field compared to last week’s 13th and 14th at the Belgian Grand Prix, but the severity of the SF000’s lack of power delivered a worse qualifying result — 17th on the grid is the team’s lowest starting position at Monza since ’66.
Racing Point overcame its low-downforce teething problems to propel Sergio Perez to fourth on the grid, the Mexican missing out on third by just 0.025s. Max Verstappen followed in fifth for Red Bull Racing ahead of Lando Norris in the second McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Renault and 0.977s off the pace, a blow to the team’s hopes for a first podium since returning to the sport as a manufacturer.
Lance Stroll will start eighth for Racing Point ahead of Alex Albon in the second Red Bull Racing car — both 0.3s behind their respective teammates Perez and Verstappen — with Pierre Gasly completing the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat qualified 11th ahead of Renault’s Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman has been the beneficiary of teammate Ricciardo’s slipstream for the first sector of his last flying lap, but it wasn’t enough to break into the top 10.
Leclerc qualified a dejected 13th, noting over team radio that he’d got the most from the car, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Kevin Magnussen.
Romain Grosjean was knocked out in Q1 by just 0.035s. The Frenchman smacked his steering wheel in frustration on his way back to pit lane — he had been on track to slip into the next round until he slid wide at Parabolica.
Vettel was the biggest scalp of Q1 in 17th. It was the four-time champion’s worst qualifying result since last year’s German Grand Prix, when he started from the back after technical problems in qualifying.
Antonio Giovinazzi, the grid’s only Italian, qualified 18th for his home grand prix ahead of Williams teammates George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.