Lewis Hamilton has yet again set the fastest time in qualifying in the 2020 Formula One season to claim pole position for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix around the iconic Autodromo Nazionale Monza. But with Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes getting his first front-row start at Monza helping Mercedes get their first front-row lockout at the Italian GP since 2016. But the weekend started with a new rule in place seeing the ban on “Party Mode” meaning that all driver must choose an engine mode and stick to it for all three sessions of qualifying. It was done in hope to level the playing field against the dominance of Mercedes, however, it was quite evident that it had pretty much no effect.
Last year, the final session of qualifying was one of the biggest shambles. Nearly all drivers failed to set a fast lap time hoping to get a slipstream from a car in front. This year in Q1, the second run saw history pretty much repeating itself in some form. While a few cars tried to get ahead, it seemed more like a race rather than a qualifying session. The biggest battle was between Esteban Ocon in the Renault and Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo fighting on their hot laps to ensure they will make it through to the next session. The squabble resulted in Romain Grosjean, surprisingly Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari along with Antonio Giovinazzi, and the two Williams cars of George Russell and Nicolas Latifi to be out of qualifying for the day and all will start in that order 16th and below.
Q2 seemed far more mature in comparison. While the Mercedes car topped the season yet again with Bottas setting the fastest time. Along with Kvyat and Ocon who were 11th and 12th fastest, the remaining Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was only 13th fastest at their home race meaning both the Ferraris will start outside the top 10 at Monza. Behind Leclerc, Raikkonen was 14th fastest and Magnussen being 15th fastest.
The battle for pole was without a doubt between the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Bottas. On their first run, Hamilton outdid Bottas to claim provisional pole, while Sergio Perez in the Racing Point was third fastest. On their second run, Bottas crossed the line first and improved on his first run to get ahead of Hamilton. But moments later Hamilton came around and snatched it back to claim pole by just +0.069 second. But the lap of the day has to be Carlos Sainz in the McLaren who was third fastest with Perez claiming the fourth spot on the grid for the race on Sunday. Meaning that Red Bull is not even on the second row for the start of the race as Max Verstappen was fifth fastest ahead of Lando Norris to start alongside in sixth. Daniel Ricciardo will start seventh for Renault ahead of Stroll who was eighth fastest and Albon and Gasly making up the final two positions of the top ten on the grid.
2020 Formula One Italian Grand Prix Qualifying Results – Autodromo Nazionale Monza
1 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
2 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes
3 Carlos SAINZ McLaren
4 Sergio PEREZ Racing Point
5 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing
6 Lando NORRIS McLaren
7 Daniel RICCIARDO Renault
8 Lance STROLL Racing Point
9 Alexander ALBON Red Bull Racing
10 Pierre GASLY Alphatauri
11 Daniil KVYAT Alphatauri
12 Esteban OCON Renault
13 Charles LECLERC Ferrari
14 Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN Alfa Romeo Racing
15 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team
16 Romain GROSJEAN Haas F1 Team
17 Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari
18 Antonio GIOVINAZZI Alfa Romeo Racing
19 George RUSSELL Williams
20 Nicholas LATIFI Williams
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