The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team put their Belgian Grand Prix troubles behind them in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix by locking out the front row at Monza. Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix in superb style to beat team-mate and current World Championship leader Nico Rosberg by 0.274s.
Hamilton was quick all afternoon, and was delighted to get a clean qualifying, something that had been lacking in recent races for one reason or another. He reaffirms the team’s decision to continue to let the two drivers race each other, and is hoping for a 1-2 finish for Mercedes.
“It’s a great feeling to be on pole here at Monza and I’m really excited for the race tomorrow,” insisted Hamilton. “It’s also a relief to have had a clean qualifying session, my first for quite a while! Big thanks to my guys in the garage, I’m very proud of the way they’ve worked this year and dealt with all our ups and downs, they’ve done a great job.
“It’s business as usual tomorrow, we’re free to race and I hope we get a strong result for the team, hopefully a one-two. The other Mercedes-powered cars are looking strong here as well so it should be an exciting race. I’m looking forward to it.”
Team-mate Rosberg was not disappointed to see his run of four consecutive pole positions broken after suffering with gearbox issues in free practice three on Saturday morning. He was happier with the car after changing the set-up overnight, and is hopeful of having a strong race on Sunday.
“Thank you to the boys, they did a great job making my car ready for Qualifying,” said Rosberg. “Also, overnight we improved the set-up a lot with the engineering support from Brackley, therefore I felt a lot better in the car today compared to yesterday.
“Today Lewis was quicker, but starting from second place is still a very good position to win here at Monza. I will need a good start and good race pace, but I’m quite confident to get it all right tomorrow. So I’m very much looking forward to the race. Monza has always a great atmosphere and it’s so great to drive this great track with our phenomenal Silver Arrow.”