Lewis Hamilton scored his first pole position since May’s Spanish Grand Prix after beating Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at Monza.
With no apparent mechanical problems or mistakes, Hamilton posted a lap time of 1:24.109 during his first run in qualifying as the benchmark time for others to beat. His initial effort was so good that even he couldn’t improve on it during his second run.
Rosberg who was four tenths down on his teammate after the first run, improved slightly during his final run but couldn’t match his teammate’s superb effort. He starts the race from second place having qualified on pole in last four races of the season.
Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked the second row of the grid with the Finn outpacing his multiple-race winning teammate for the fifth consecutive weekend. With strong race pace during their simulations on Friday, the duo might well be challenging the Silver Arrows for victory tomorrow.
McLaren continued to show improved performance at Monza with Magnussen qualifying in fifth place and Button lining his car alongside in sixth.
Fernando Alonso was the sole Ferrari driver in the Q3 shootout after Kimi Raikkonen just missed out on the top 10. The Spaniard qualified his car in seventh place as the highest non-Mercedes powered car while Raikkonen could only manage 12th. The Finn will move one place on the grid after Kvyat’s 10 place grid penalty for using his sixth engine of the season.
Red Bull were nowhere close to the top guns on a low downforce circuit like Monza where the underpowered Renault engine proves to be a big hindrance in getting good results. Last year’s pole sitter Sebastian Vettel was only eighth fastest while Spa winner Daniel Ricciardo could only lock the ninth spot on the grid.
Sergio Perez in the Force India made it into Q3 but couldn’t qualify his car any higher than 10th.
Daniil Kvyat was the first to miss out on the final leg of qualifying and will have to start the race from 21st after the aforementioned penalty. Jean Eric Vergne will hence move up one place and start from 12th alongside Kimi Raikkonen.
Having being eliminated in Q1 for the first time in two years at Spa, Hulkenberg fared better at Monza but was unable to make it into the final part of qualifying, unlike his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez. The German qualified his Force India in 14th place.
Behind the Force India came the two Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez. Lotus performed miserably at what was their worst track of the season with both Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean failing to get out of Q1, having set lap times that were similar to those of backmarkers Marussia and Caterham.
In the backmarkers fight, it was Kamui Kobayashi who came out on top, out qualifying the Marussias of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton as well as Marcus Ericsson in the sister Caterham.