The new restrictions on engine modes didn't change the pecking order at the front, with Mercedes still comfortably ahead of the pack. Hamilton narrowly took pole from Bottas as Carlos Sainz took third, 8 tenths down on the black cars.
Qualifying started with the Williams cars taking to the track. It's a common sight to see the Williams out first, but this time, it was the last time out with Frank and Claire Williams in charge of the team, as the team's new owners will put new management in place after the weekend.
Many others were quick to join the action, but almost as quickly, Leclerc's and Magnussen's times were deleted as they were found to have all four wheels past the white line on the exit of parabolica. Sebastian Vettel on the other hand was the fastest of the early runners.
Next up was a queue of cars, as they all looked to benefit somewhat of the slipstream of the car ahead. But even with this additional complexity for qualifying, Hamilton emerged fastest 7 minutes from the end of the first session, followed by Bottas, Perez, the two McLarens, Verstappen and Ricciardo.
The next series, close to the end of the session was even worse in terms of traffic and was truly racing through Parabolica and the chicane. Vettel for instance got stuck in between cars, while Raikkonen abandoned his lap halfway after being blocked towards Variante Roggia by Esteban Ocon.
In any case, it didn't bring much change at all as nobody managed to escape the elimination zone in the final minutes. Gasly still managed to get his lap sorted by being a bit ahead of the pack. He could take few risks, as an earlier laptime got deleted, and he was at risk of getting eliminated if others managed to improve.
The second part of qualifying didn't provide any surprises, and this time around, teams are drivers allowed for a bit more distance between themselves to not get messed up in traffic at the end of the session.
As Hamilton, and then Bottas improved the track record, Perez, Sainz and Verstappen, with the Spaniard eventually going fastest, 0.753s slower than Bottas's best in Q2.
Ricciardo and Albon just made it through into Q3, contrary to Kvyat, Ocon, Leclerc, Raikkonen and Magnussen.
Q3 saw Bottas take the track first, closely followed by Hamilton, Verstappen and Albon. The others followed soon, but as was expected, neither were able to challenge the black Mercedes.
Hamilton topped Bottas by 0.053s on the first lap. Perez emerged in third at 0.652s with Verstappen and both McLarens reasonably close to him. Alex Albon trailed the pack in 10th as he got his time deleted, once again for going too wide at Parabolica.
Bottas improved once again on the second lap, but Hamilton did even better yet again. The Brit took pole by 0.069s.
Carlos Sainz similarly improved and took third, improving on Perez by just 0.025s. Max Verstappen had to be content with 5th, followed by Norris and Ricciardo.
|3||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:20.099||1:19.705||1:19.695||16|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:20.048||1:19.718||1:19.720||17|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:20.193||1:19.780||1:19.795||17|
|6||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:20.344||1:19.962||1:19.820||18|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:20.400||1:19.924||1:20.049||19|
|9||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:21.104||1:20.064||1:20.090||19|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||1:20.145||1:19.909||1:20.177||20|
|11||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||1:20.307||1:20.169||-||14|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:21.010||1:20.926||-||14|
|15||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:20.869||1:21.573||-||14|
|16||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:21.139||-||-||8|
|18||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:21.206||-||-||9|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:21.587||-||-||7|
|20||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:21.717||-||-||8|