Italian GP: Hamilton “excited” for race after taking pole at Monza

Lewis Hamilton took his 94th pole position and broke the record for the fastest ever lap in Formula 1 on Saturday afternoon in Italy. 

He finished the session 0.069s ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas with the Mercedes drivers way ahead of the competition even with the new engine mode rulings which restricted the teams to use only one engine mode.

Carlos Sainz was in third and was eight tenths off the Mercedes best time.

“It wasn’t the easiest session because of how close it was out there, so it really demanded a clean lap and I got that on both of my Q3 attempts.” said Hamilton after the session.

“I’m very happy with the laps I did and Valtteri was very, very close, pushing me hard. I made some big changes going into Qualifying, so I was a little bit nervous before the session, but it all worked out well. A fantastic performance from the team today, particularly with the engine rule change.

“Hats off to everyone back at the factories, they’ve kept their heads down and this result is proof of the incredible work they do. I’m proud to be part of that chain and I’m excited to see what tomorrow will bring.

“It’s going to be a fun battle.”

Hamilton has taken five wins in the seven races that have taken place this year and is thoroughly the favourite going into the race.

His closest challenger in the championship is Max Verstappen who is 47 points behind in what has been a colossal start to this delayed season for Hamilton.

His only threat in Monza is his teammate Bottas but based on recent form you wouldn’t bet that Bottas could take the fight to Hamilton in the race.

In the Belgian GP last week, Bottas was unable to take the fight to Hamilton allowing him to have a significant lead by the end of the race.

On the first lap Bottas backed out from a move into Eau Rouge after Hamilton had made a mistake. Bottas needs to learn from his mistakes and pounce when he has the chance on lap one.