Lewis Hamilton has claimed his first pole position in eight races after outpacing Nico Rosberg in qualifying at Monza. The Briton has endured a miserable run of luck on Saturdays at recent races but returned to form this afternoon, beating his title rival by 0.274s
After seeing his teammate suffer from technical problems yesterday, it was Rosberg’s turn to be struck by bad luck as a gearbox problem ruled him out of final practice. The championship leader wasn’t disadvantaged in the opening two sessions and comfortably booked his place in the pole position shootout but didn’t have an answer for Hamilton when he got there.
Hamilton threw down the gauntlet straight away with a 1:24.109, some four tenths faster than his teammate, and despite threatening a fightback in the first sector of his last lap, Rosberg faded in the remainder of the circuit and could only manage a 1:24.383. Valtteri Bottas, who has looked a major force all weekend, was third quickest with his Williams teammate Felipe Massa ensuring a lockout of the second row for the Grove-based squad.
Row three will be an all-McLaren affair with Kevin Magnussen starting fifth after edging out Jenson Button in the dying seconds. The 2009 champion had looked the stronger of the two earlier in the afternoon but was demoted to sixth after a scruffy middle sector. The tifosi’s main hope will start on the fourth row with Fernando Alonso powerless to drag his Ferrari higher than seventh while the bragging rights within Red Bull went to Sebastian Vettel in eighth, three tenths quicker than Daniel Ricciardo.
The top ten was rounded out by Force India’s Sergio Perez, meaning there was no room for Kimi Raikkonen whose miserable season continues. Hopes were high for Kimi on his first Ferrari appearance at Monza since 2009 but the Finn was punted back to twelfth by Daniil Kvyat. The fact that the Russian will receive a ten place grid penalty, promoting Raikkonen, will have been scant consolation.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Nico Hulkenberg will start together on the seventh row after underwhelming performances from both with the two Saubers next up after beating Lotus to the last remaining spots in Q2. Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean will therefore have to start from seventeenth and eighteenth respectively with only the Caterhams and Marussias behind them.
|FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2014 – QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION|
|3||77||VALTTERI BOTTAS||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||MEDIUM||1:24.697||Q3|
|4||19||FELIPE MASSA||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||MEDIUM||1:24.865||Q3|
|5||20||KEVIN MAGNUSSEN||McLAREN MERCEDES||MEDIUM||1:25.314||Q3|
|6||22||JENSON BUTTON||McLAREN MERCEDES||MEDIUM||1:25.379||Q3|
|8||1||SEBASTIAN VETTEL||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:25.436||Q3|
|9||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:25.709||Q3|
|10||11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||MEDIUM||1:25.944||Q3|
|11||26||DANIIL KVYAT *||STR RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:26.070||Q2|
|13||25||JEAN-ERIC VERGNE||STR RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:26.157||Q2|
|14||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||MEDIUM||1:26.279||Q2|
|15||99||ADRIAN SUTIL||SAUBER FERRARI||MEDIUM||1:26.588||Q2|
|16||21||ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ||SAUBER FERRARI||MEDIUM||1:26.692||Q2|
|17||13||PASTOR MALDONADO||LOTUS RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:27.520||Q1|
|18||8||ROMAIN GROSJEAN||LOTUS RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:27.632||Q1|
|19||10||KAMUI KOBAYASHI||CATERHAM RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:27.671||Q1|
|20||17||JULES BIANCHI||MARUSSIA FERRARI||MEDIUM||1:27.738||Q1|
|21||4||MAX CHILTON||MARUSSIA FERRARI||MEDIUM||1:28.247||Q1|
|22||9||MARCUS ERICSSON||CATERHAM RENAULT||MEDIUM||1:28.562||Q1|
|* 10 PLACE GRID PENALTY|