Hamilton on pole position again as Meredes lock-out Monza front row

Banning 'party modes' made little difference to the world champion.
Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton's remarkable season continued on Saturday as he claimed pole position for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

The championship leader, who has won five of the opening seven rounds of the season, beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.069s for yet another front row lockout for the Brackley-based squad.

Some had predicted Mercedes would be brought back closer to the pack with a ban on 'party modes' during qualifying, but they were both nearly nine tenths of a second faster than the surprise package of the session, McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jnr in third spot.

Carlos Sainz Jnr qualified a brilliant thirdCarlos Sainz Jnr qualified a brilliant third
Carlos Sainz Jnr qualified a brilliant third

Hamilton said: "It wasn't too bad! It wasn't the easiest - you see how close it is. It demanded a clean lap and that's what I got. Valtteri was close, I made a lot of changes ahead of qualifying but they worked just fine."

Bottas said: "It was really close as I expected. I'm not sure I helped him with the tow, but I was on my own for the final runs. My long run pace compared to Lewis is good so it's still all to play for."

Sainz said: "I felt strong since Q1 and managed to go through with only one set of tyres. Since then, it was chipping away to give me a 19.6 which I felt was a top-five time. I'm shaking a bit because I really had to pull one out!

"I felt I was nailing all my runs, but the lap didn't start too well, but I really went for it and it has really paid off."

Sergio Perez completes the second row for Racing Point, while it was a struggle for Red Bull Racing as Max Verstappen could only set the fifth fastest time. Lando Norris was sixth in the other McLaren, ahead of the disappointed Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll's Racing Point, Alex Albon in the sister Red Bull and the Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly.

Related topics: