F1: Hamilton Clinces Pole Amid Monza Qualifying Chaos

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Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrating a record breaking 94th career pole in Monza. Image sourced from @MercedesAMGF1 via Twitter.

Mercedes’ Hamilton Claims Record En-Route To Italy Pole.

Top Gear

Lewis Hamilton clinched a 94th career pole at Monza, breaking yet another track record in the process.

Hamilton: “A fantastic performance from the team today, particularly with the engine rule change.”

“Everyone back at the factories kept their heads down and this result is proof of the incredible work they do.”

Across the garage, Valtteri Bottas finished just 0.069’s off team-mate Hamilton.

The Finn’s second position secures him a first ever front row start at Monza.

Bottas: “Of course, it’s disappointing to miss out on pole, especially by such a small margin. My pace has been pretty good all weekend and it was really close out there, as I expected.”

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. My race pace on Friday was matching Lewis and this track always provides opportunities, so it’s up to me to take them. It’s still all to play for.”

Fine Margins

Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified in a superb third for McLaren in Italy.

Sainz: “I’ve been feeling very strong since Q1, and since then it was just chipping away.”

“The last lap I nearly messed up, I had a big moment in Lesmo 1 and I’m actually shaking a bit.”

The Spaniard will line up ahead of Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez in fourth and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in fifth.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. In the Monza pitlane post qualifying preparing for interviews. Image sourced from @McLarenF1 via Twitter.

In sixth came Lando Norris in the sister McLaren, followed by Renault’s Daniel Riccardo in seventh position.

Monza’s high speed nature which it’s ‘Temple Of Speed’ moniker originates from, showed once more why slipstream is fundamental in qualifying.

With less than 2 tenths of a second separating positions three through seven.

“You wanna fight, I wanna tussle”

In Q1 multiple drivers were caught out as they jockeyed for track position in a bid to collect slipstream, subsequently denying eachother a chance to improve.

Kimi Räikkönen’s Alfa Romeo and Renault’s Esteban Ocon were at the heart of it as both nearly collided on their out laps.

Both drivers were summoned to the stewards post qualifying, although no further action was taken.

FIA Statement: “The stewards concluded that what appeared to be erratic movement of cars was due to a combination of circumstances which they, and the two drivers present, agreed was probably unavoidable and was not dangerous.”

Scarlet Scuderia

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will start seventeenth after he failed to progress to Q2 as a result of the chaos.

The four time world champion expressed his frustration with the incident post quali.

“The problem is that there were too many cars in the same place on the circuit, then they started overtaking and it was a mess.”

“We came out of the pits at the wrong time, I couldn’t do anything different.”

Sebastian Vettel in a special chrome embossed helmet, designed alongside JMD for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. Image sourced from @ScuderiaFerrari via Twitter.

It wasn’t too much better for Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc who could only manage thirteenth despite getting multiple clean laps.

The Scuderia’s thirtheenth & seventeenth grid positions mark the first time since 1984 that neither car has qualified in the top ten at their historic home circuit.

Lance Stroll’s Racing Point qualified eight.

The Canadian narrowly infront of Alexander Albon’s Red Bull in ninth, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly of the sister RB team in tenth.

Backfire

A lap time deletion for exceeding track limits in Q1 meant the Frenchman was forced to use a used set, putting him at a disadvantage in Q3.

Pierre Gasly’s mistake early on in qualifying backfired in the latter stages. Image sourced from @AlphaTauriF1 via Twitter.

Gasly: “On my second run, my lap on used tyres was good, but just not good enough to be ahead of the other guys on new tyres.”

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