Hamilton seizes pole, Red Bulls less than a tenth away

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Italy, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrariit

Lewis Hamilton was surprised to have taken pole position, but he did indeed manage to hold off a fierce challenge from Red Bull. Both Perez and Verstappen qualified less than a tenth behind the Mercedes pole-sitter.

Qualifying kicked off with Mick Schumacher taking to the track, soon followed by his team mate Mazepin. Both Haas drivers went out on the softest tyre compound.

They both remained the only cars on track until they crossed the finish line to start their flying laps. At that moment, Wiliams' George Russell joined the action. Tsunoda, Ocon, Stroll and a many other cars then set off to get their first time in.

4 minutes later, and 8 minutes into the session, Tsunoda crashed off on his quick lap. He lost the rear on the exit of Variante Alta and went rearwards into the tyre wall, basically destructing the entire rear end of the car. As the Japanese stepped out unharmed, others returned to the pits.

5 minutes later, the session got underway again, with many drivers opting to take another new set of soft. Nicholas Latifi didn't have to, as he had not gone out before Tsunoda crashed.

Sergio Perez was one of the first to set a time, but he was required to go again immediately after that as his time was scrapped due to exceeding track limits at Turn 9. Gasly similarly saw his time deleted while Bottas took charge of the session, topping Hamilton and Verstappen.

Lando Norris slotted into third moments later to confirm his pace from FP3.

The typical last minute flurry of improvements saw both Williams move up into Q2 in the dying moments, leaving both Alfa Romeo and Haas drivers eliminated, along with Tsunoda's AlphaTauri.

Sebastian Vettel only just managed to save himself from elimination on his final lap while Alonso ended 15th, the slowest one to make it through to Q2.

Q2 saw more interesting performances. Lan do Norris topped the times after the first round of laps. He used soft tyres to topple Hamilton and Verstappen, who both ran on the mediums. Leclerc slotted into 4th with soft tyres while Bottas didn't enjoy a great lap and was 5th, 3 tenths down on Hamilton.

George Russel actually positions himself in 10th on a medium tyre run, only to be relegated to 11th when Vettel completed his timed lap. Ricciardo, Alonso, Ocon and Latifi were all in the elimination zone, and therefore desperate to improve on their second runs to avoid elimination.

Esteban Ocon managed to do just that, as well as Daniel Ricciardo. Fernando Alonso failed to improve and ended up 15th, eliminated along with Sainz, Russell, Vettel and Latifi.

The top 10 shootout saw Ricciardo do a poor first lap, just like Ocon, even though the Alpine driver was still half a second up on the Australian. Both men would be more than 1.5s down on Lewis Hamilton who went fastest a minute later. Verstappen ended up just 0.091s behind the Mercedes driver with Perez following his team mate in third.

Norris and Leclerc were up next with Bottas disappointingly down in 6th, nearly 6 tenths down on Hamilton. The Finn didn't really manage to impress anymore after topping Q1.

Bottas's second lap ended up similarly disappointing with no improvement at all. Norris briefly shot up into second but soon saw his time deleted, dropping back into 7th, behind team mate Ricciardo who eventually managed a decent lap to go 6th fastest.

Hamilton didn't improve on his second run, but it was enough. Perez improved to take second, 0.035s down on Hamilton, but 0.043 up on his team mate at Red Bull, Max Verstappen.

With the top three bunched up within a tenth, Leclerc and Gasly were fairly closely matched for fourth, both a little more than 3 tenths down on pole.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:14.8231:14.8171:14.41123
211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda1:15.3951:14.7161:14.44618
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:15.1091:14.8841:14.49820
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:15.4131:14.8081:14.74019
510Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri Honda1:15.5481:14.9271:14.79021
63Daniel RicciardoMcLaren Mercedes1:15.6691:15.0331:14.82621
74Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:15.0091:14.7181:14.87515
877Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:14.6721:14.9051:14.89822
931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:15.3851:15.1171:15.21020
1018Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes1:15.5221:15.138-20
1155Carlos SainzFerrari1:15.4061:15.199-16
1263George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:15.8261:15.261-16
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin Mercedes1:15.4591:15.394-14
146Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:15.6531:15.593-14
1514Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:15.8321:15.593-14
167Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:15.974--10
1799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:16.122--9
1847Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:16.279--12
199Nikita MazepinHaas Ferrari1:16.797--12
RT22Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri Honda--2