Lewis Hamilton says he was left “trying to avoid carnage” in the final moments of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday at Monza after the field was bunched up, causing seven drivers to miss out on setting a final lap time.

As drivers slowed to avoid giving their rivals a tow on the warm-up lap before the final lap in Q3, Hamilton was one of seven drivers who crossed the line after the chequered flag come out, costing him the chance to improve his time.

Hamilton was left P2 on the grid, three-hundredths of a second shy of pole-sitter Charles Leclerc, but the session is under investigation for the final lap.

“Everyone was slowing right down, and blocking the way, so you couldn’t really get through,” Hamilton said.

“It was pretty dangerous. I almost crashed a couple of times, trying to stay out of the way and guys braking ahead of me, and people coming past me.

“It would have been nice to be able to compete on that last lap, get to really thrash out the cars and see who really had the edge at the end. Unfortunately we all timed out.”

Hamilton explained how he was meant to get a tow from Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, but opted to overtake his teammate to try and make it to the line.

“I tried to get through. I was supposed to be behind Valtteri, but I overtook him knowing I needed to get further ahead, but I couldn’t overtake everyone,” Hamilton explained.

“They were weaving and braking. It was like trying to avoid carnage all of the time. We had a couple of people I think holding everyone up, trying to let people pass by.

“It was a bit of an anti-climax, for all of you. Maybe they should have extended the session or something. I’m not really sure how we can get around this, everyone brake-testing and slowing down to let others past just to get the tow.

“I wish I just went out earlier, went out there and did a clean lap.”

 

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