F1 – Italian GP – Qualifying
Ciao, MiniFans and welcome back to the ‘Temple of Speed’! We are back here at Monza for the first weekend of the unique Italian hattrick. Next week, we are racing at Mugello and the Grand Prix at Imola will be driven during the first weekend of November. So far this weekend, we could see that McLaren seems to have the speed they’ll need here. Norris and Sainz surprisingly ended up in the top three earlier today, so they are certainly worthed to keep an eye on both today and tomorrow. The team which isn’t caring the speed this year is without a doubt Ferrari. Leclerc was the only one of the two made it to the top ten earlier this weekend with a P9 in FP2. Could they make it into the top ten during qualy? Let’s find out!
From today on, we will no longer see the ‘party mode’ being used by the drivers in both qualifying and the race. Only one engine mode will be allowed during this session. The idea behind this is getting the times closer together and making the qualy a lot more thrilling for both the teams and the fans. Leclerc’s first and fastest time was immediately deleted because of the tight tracklimits at the exit of Parabolica and he definitely wasn’t the only one struggling there. Also Magnussen’s, Gasly’s, Stroll’s and Albon’s times were deleted in Q1. This way, Albon ended up as the driver at risk with only four minutes to go. It was pretty much a shocker when he let us know over the radio that he could only better his time when he was able to use slipstream behind another driver. In the end, wasn’t able to get any higher up than P15. Lucky enough for him, no one in the elemination zone went faster than him on their last lap due to a massive ammount of traffic. Grosjean (P16), Vettel (P17), Giovinazzi (P18), Russell (P19) and Latifi (P20) were out after Q1.
After the first couple of laps during the second segment of qualifying, we had Hamilton with a trackrecord on P1 followed by his teammate Bottas. Albon was yet again the driver at risk on P10 with not even a second between him and Hamilton. Everyone got out of the pits with three minutes. Leclerc was the only Red Horse left in Q2 on P13 after his first go. The Tifosi’s eyes were burning on his back to get him into Q3. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it into the top ten on the starting grid for Ferrari’s first home Grand Prix. Kvyat (P11), Ocon (P12), Leclerc (P13), Raikkonen (P14) and Magnussen (P15) didn’t make it to Q3 and were left behind in Q2.
Moving to the last part of qualifying, everyone immediatly went out on the softest red tyre. We had Hamilton on provisional pole followed by Bottas, Perez and Verstappen after their first laps. Albon’s time was yet again deleted due to tracklimits in turn 11. Verstappen bettered his fourth time during his final lap, but that position was quickly taken away by Perez. Carlos Sainz was namely the surprise of the day and took P3, his best ever start position in Formula 1.
Lewis Hamilton took the pole at Monza after a splendid lap followed by Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz . The top 10 was completed by Perez (P4), Verstappen (P5), Norris (P6), Ricciardo (P7), Stroll (P8), Albon (P9) and Gasly (P10). With the McLarens being very strong on this track, Red Bull will have another rival for tomorrow. It promises to be a tense race but until then, stay MiniCool!