Hamilton takes Monza pole ahead of Bottas and Sainz

With a new record lap

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By Olivier Ferret

5 September 2020 - 16:03
Hamilton takes Monza pole ahead of (...)

Lewis Hamilton claimed his 94th career pole position with a blistering final flying lap that set a new lap record lap at Monza to edge second-placed team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.069s and third placed Carlos Sainz of McLaren by eight tenths of a second.

Fourth place in the session went to Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez as Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen slipped to P5 ahead of the second McLaren of Lando Norris.

It was another difficult day for Ferrari, however, as on home soil neither ofg its cars made Q3, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel ending up P13 and P17.

In Q1 the Mercedes drivers led the way, with Hamilton taking top spot with a lap of 1:19.514. Bottas slotted into second place, two tenths behind the champion.

Verstappen, meanwhile comfortably made his way though to Q2 with a time of 1:20.193. That was only good enough for fifth place, however, as third place was taken by Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez and fourth by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

However, it was a much more nervous end to the session for Alex Albon in the other Red Bull. The Thai driver had his second flyer of the session deleted from exceeding track limits and he dropped to 15th on the timesheet ahead of the final runs. Albon was forced to go again and he would need to make it count.

That was easier said than done, however, as on the out lap a numbere of cars became embroiled in a tussle for position. In the end it meant that most were forced to abandon their lap and Albon fortunately scraped through in P15 ahead of eliminated drivers Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

Hamilton again led the way after the first runs of Q2. The champion set a run-one benchmark of 1:19.092 to sit almost four tenths of a second clear of Bottas. Pérez was again third ahead of Sainz and Verstappen found himself in P5, 0.057s behind the McLaren. Albon, meanwhile, was in P10 with a time of 1:20.064.

Once again the final runs saw drivers battling for space and a clear tow at the end of the session. This time, though, the only complication was caused by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo going wide at the second chicane and that also ruined team-mate Ocon’s lap as the Frenchman was seeking a tow from his team-mate. There were few improvements elsewhere, however, and as drivers fell back on their opening times Albon went through to Q3 in tenth place as Verstappen progressed comfortably in P5 behind Perez and Sainz who snuck into P3 thanks to his final flyer.

Eliminated at this stage were AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat in P11, Ocon, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

Track limits were again Albon’s nemesis in the opening run of Q3. The Thai driver was seventh at the end of his lap, with the McLarens of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris separating him from Verstappen, who was fourth behind Pérez.

Albon’s lap was swiftly deleted, however, as he once again put all four wheels past the white lines at Parabolica. He dropped to 10th.

Verstappen, meanwhile, was again engaged in a battle with Perez and Sainz for hundredths of a second. And as Hamilton stormed to pole position ahead of Bottas with a time of 1:18.887, Sainz took P3 with lap of 1:19.695, good enough to put him three hundredths of a second ahead of Pérez and a tenth ahead of Verstappen who had to settle for fifth place.

The Dutchman will therefore start at the front of row three ahead of the seconds McLaren of Lando Norris, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll. Albon will start ninth, on row five alongside tenth-placed Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri.

Pos.DriverTeamQ1 timeQ2 timeQ3 time
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 1:19.514 1:19.092 1:18.887
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:19.786 1:18.952 1:18.956
03 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:20.099 1:19.705 1:19.695
04 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:20.048 1:19.718 1:19.720
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:20.193 1:19.780 1:19.795
06 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:20.344 1:19.962 1:19.820
07 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:20.548 1:20.031 1:19.864
08 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:20.400 1:19.924 1:20.049
09 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:21.104 1:20.064 1:20.090
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:20.145 1:19.909 1:20.177
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
11 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:20.307 1:20.169
12 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:20.747 1:20.234
13 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:20.443 1:20.273
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:21.010 1:20.926
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:20.869 1:21.573
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
16 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:21.139
17 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 1:21.151
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:21.206
19 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 1:21.587
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 1:21.717

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