During qualifying for the Italian GP, Formula 1 experimented again with an alternative format. Just like in Hungary, the hard tire compound had to be used during the first qualifying part. In Q2 it was with the medium tire and in Q3 with the soft tire compound.
As on other circuits, respecting the track limits is also very important on the Monza circuit. Max Verstappen set the provisional best time in Q1 but his lap time was scrapped because he had not respected the track limits. Fernando Alonso also saw his first fast lap canceled for the same reason.
In the end, somewhat surprisingly, both Alpine riders died. Lance Stroll was also a serious disappointment with the slowest time, teammate Fernando Alonso was about eight tenths faster, which was good for tenth.
There was also less good news for both Ferrari drivers. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were investigated by the stewards for not respecting the maximum allowed lap time. However, the stewards will only investigate both incidents further after qualifying and there is therefore a threat of a possible penalty for the Ferrari duo.
We didn’t see any big surprises in Q2. Max Verstappen drove the fastest time, but he was only followed by both Ferraris by a handful of thousandths. Charles Leclerc followed at 0.040 seconds, Carlos Sainz at 0.054 seconds. We looked like we were going to have a very close battle for pole.
During the first series of fast runs in Q3, when the battle for pole is being fought, Max Verstappen set the provisional fastest time despite a mistake. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz successively went even faster than the Dutchman. So both Ferraris are on the front row for the time being and the Italian fans were screaming in the stands.
With three cars within a tenth of a second, it promised to be a super exciting ultimate battle for pole. After all, all drivers took to the track one last time to try and improve their lap times.
Charles Leclerc drove to the provisional best time, but Max Verstappen went a fraction faster. Carlos Sainz, however, followed with an even faster lap. Pole position therefore for Carlos Sainz, followed just 0.013 seconds by Max Verstappen and 0.067 seconds by teammate Charles Leclerc. Immediately after qualifying, the stewards also announced that ‘no further action’ would be taken for not respecting the maximum lap time earlier in qualifying.
Great joy in the Italian stands because Carlos Sainz was therefore sure of his pole position for the GP of Italy. With Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in second and third place, tomorrow promises to be an extremely exciting race.
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:21.965s 1:20.991s 1:20.294s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.573s 1:20.937s 1:20.307s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:21.788s 1:20.977s 1:20.361s
4 George Russell Mercedes 1:22.148s 1:21.382s 1:20.671s
5 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:21.911s 1:21.240s 1:20.688s
6 Alexander Albon Williams 1:21.661s 1:21.272s 1:20.760s
7 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:22.106s 1:21.527s 1:20.785s
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.977s 1:21.369s 1:20.820s
9 Lando Norris McLaren 1:21.995s 1:21.581s 1:20.979s
10 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:22.043s 1:21.543s 1:21.417s
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:21.852s 1:21.594s
12 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 1:22.112s 1:21.758s
13 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:22.343s 1:21.776s
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:22.249s 1:21.940s
15 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:21.930s 1:21.944s
16 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:22.390s
17 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:22.545s
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:22.548s
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:22.592s
20 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:22.860s
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