Lewis Hamilton took pole position as he led a Mercedes front row lockout at the ninth race of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello for the Tuscan Grand Prix in Italy.
Valtteri Bottas was in second position, just 0.059 seconds behind. Max Verstappen was in third position behind the two Mercedes drivers. Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Pérez, Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 positions.
All the top ten drivers set their fastest lap times on the soft compound tyres in the second qualification session and will start the race on those set of tyres on race day which has blisteringly hot temperatures forecast.
The qualifying session started under clear skies with air temperatures at 29 degree C and track temperatures at 45 degree C. The three Pirelli tyre compounds for this race are the white-striped hard tyres (C1), the yellow-striped medium tyres (C2) and the red-striped soft tyres (C3).
Q1: Pierre Gasly Eliminated
The eighteen-minute long first session of qualifying got underway with the Williams Racing team drivers on the track first. George Russell who missed the majority of the third free practice session due to reliability issues was the first driver to set a timed lap.
Hamilton went to the top of the time charts and Bottas immediately went 0.029 seconds faster with a lap time of 1m15.749s. Verstappen slotted in third position behind the two Mercedes drivers, 0.586 seconds behind Bottas.
In the dying minutes of the session, Sebastian Vettel scraped through in fifteenth position. Kimi Räikkönen made it into the second session of qualification in thirteenth position. The surprising driver in the dropzone was Pierre Gasly, the race winner at the previous Grand Prix in Monza.
Q1 dropzone: Pierre Gasly, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Kevin Magnussen.
Q2: Sebastian Vettel Eliminated
The fifteen-minute long second qualification session started with the drivers on the soft compound tyres. Hamilton went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m15.309s, the first time the Briton has topped a session this weekend. Bottas and Verstappen were behind Hamilton, with the Dutchman just 0.162 seconds off the fastest lap time.
Alexander Albon was a further 0.605 seconds behind in fourth position. Daniel Ricciardo with a good lap was in fifth position ahead of the Racing Point, McLaren and Ferrari drivers.
In the dying minutes of the session, Carlos Sainz took tenth position and pushed team-mate Lando Norris into the dropzone. For the fifth race in a row, Vettel was eliminated in the second qualification session.
Q2 dropzone : Lando Norris, Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Räikkönen, Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean
Q3: Hamilton Clinches Pole Position as Mercedes lockout the front row
The final all important twelve-minute shootout started with the Mercedes drivers and Verstappen very close to each other and in the shoot out for pole position
Hamilton on his first flying lap took provisional pole position with a lap time of 1m15.144s. Bottas took second position, just 0.059 seconds behind. Verstappen was in third position, but 0.402 seconds behind the leader now. Sergio Pérez was ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll in fifth position after the first set of flying laps.
Hamilton did not improve on his second flying lap. But Bottas could not improve on his time as he had to drive through the yellow flags brought on by Esteban Ocon’s spin at Turn 5. Leclerc improved to fifth position on his second flying lap.
Top 10 after Q3: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Pérez, Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon.
2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Qualifying Results:
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:15.778||1:15.309||1:15.144||14|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:15.749||1:15.322||1:15.203||11|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:16.335||1:15.471||1:15.509||12|
|4||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:16.527||1:15.914||1:15.954||14|
|5||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1:16.698||1:16.324||1:16.270||18|
|6||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||1:16.596||1:16.489||1:16.311||16|
|7||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||1:16.701||1:16.271||1:16.356||14|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault DP World F1 Team||1:16.981||1:16.243||1:16.543||14|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||1:16.993||1:16.522||1:17.870||17|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Renault DP World F1 Team||1:16.825||1:16.297||–||14|
|11||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1:16.895||1:16.640||–||12|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:16.928||1:16.854||–||11|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:17.059||1:16.854||–||12|
|14||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||1:17.072||1:16.858||–||12|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||1:17.069||1:17.254||–||12|
|16||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:17.125||–||–||6|
|17||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:17.220||–||–||6|
|18||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:17.232||–||–||9|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:17.320||–||–||9|
|20||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1:17.348||–||–||6|