Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton snatches pole in Monza

Lewis Hamilton set a new track record at Monza even without the high engine modes to take his 94th pole position. 

The lap was the fastest lap in F1 history with an average speed of 164mph.

Valtteri Bottas was 0.069s off of his teammate only just missing out on pole but still made it another Mercedes front row lockout.

Carlos Sainz nailed his final lap to fractionally take third place ahead of Sergio Perez who occupied the position for the majority of qualifying.

Perez will start fourth.

Max Verstappen qualified fifth alongside Lando Norris with Daniel Ricciardo, who was expected to go very well, the only Renault in Q3 in seventh.

Lance Stroll was just ahead of Alex Albon who messed up his lap in the final sector and lost a few tenths to start ninth.

Pierre Gasly rounded out those who made it through to Q3.

The topic of conversation entering the qualifying session this year was how much the tow and slipstream would affect the running.

In 2019, only two drivers made it round at the end of Q3 to set laptimes after all slowing each other down, not wanting to take the lead and break trail.

In F3 on Friday afternoon, nine drivers were penalised for dangerous driving going incredibly slowly down the back straight, near stationary into Parabolica.

To prevent this kind of dangerous activity in F1, a maximum time was introduced for in laps in qualifying from Safety Car line 2 to SC1. This time is 1.43.000.

The official FIA document is linked here.

Immediately in Q1, cars were searching for their own perfect laptime by using each other and a few minutes into the session there was a long line all setting their times.

At the end of the session all of those squabbling to get out of the drop zone were not in position for a clean lap with all six drivers racing into turn 1.

Esteban Ocon was holding up Kimi Raikkonen with a run down Curva Grande being blocked very aggressively by Ocon at high speed. It was all a mess and that was only Q1.

Q2 was better after teams appeared to learn from Q1.

In Q3, the Mercedes drivers led the way out of the garages, not seeking a tow due to their immense pace and left the garages with five minutes to go.

Everyone else then scrambled to go out and were suitably placed out on the track which meant the farce of 2019 did not happen.

11th position went to Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauri with Esteban Ocon alongside of him.

Charles Leclerc ended in 13th with making it the first time since 1984 a Ferrari has not started in the top 10 in Monza.

Kimi Raikkonen and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the Q2 runners in 14th and 15th.

Out in Q1 were Romain Grosjean who went wide at the final corner of his flying lap.

Sebastian Vettel qualified in 17th abandoning his final lap after the mess ahead losing him nearly two seconds by sector 2. Antonio Giovinazzi is just behind him with the two Williams slowest of all, George Russell ahead of Nicholas Latifi.

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.18.887
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1.18.956
3 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1.19.695
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1.19.795
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.19.795
6 Lando Norris McLaren 1.19.820
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.19.864
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1.20.049
9 Alex Albon Red Bull 1.20.090
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1.20.177
11 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1.20.169
12 Esteban Ocon Renault 1.20.234
13 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1.20.273
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1.20.926
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1.21.573
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 1.21.139
17 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.21.151
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1.21.206
19 George Russell Williams 1.21.587
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1.21.717