Either side of Hamilton were the Lotuses, with Kimi Raikkonen failing to improve on his final run and having to settle for eleventh, while Romain Grosjean looked ragged in the other E21 and could not better 13th.
With Paul di Resta slowest of all in Q2, questions were raised regarding the set-up adopted by Lotus and Force India, both of which may have been hedging their bets amid reports of rain on Sunday.
Pastor Maldonado was the other driver not to progress to the pole shoot-out, joining Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the sidelines, after the Finn failed to make it through from Q1. He will start in P15, with Bottas three spots back.
Esteban Gutierrez was the other notable casualty in Q1. The Mexican bounced in and out of the 'drop zone', but could never quite pull far enough away to avoid being caught beneath the trap door when the chequered flag fell.
Bottas and Gutierrez were joined on the sidelines by the Caterham and Marussia drivers, the minnows being unable to perform the sort of miraculous escape that characterised the early part of the session in Belgium. Giedo van der Garde again emerged as fastest of the quartet, heading Caterham team-mate Charles Pic after work between sessions transformed the electrics of CT03. Jules Bianchi was the faster of the two Marussia drivers, but the pair still wound up bring up the rear of the grid.
To see the full times from qualifying for the F1 2013 Italian Grand Prix - CLICK HERE