Lewis Hamilton set the fastest ever lap in Formula 1 history on his way to claiming pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

The reigning six-times world champion’s 1m18.887 clocked an average speed of 164mph and was just 0.069s faster than the lap managed by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

It marked the 94th pole of Hamilton’s career and is the seventh time he has topped qualifying at Monza, known as the ‘Temple of Speed’.

Despite a new technical directive coming into force from the start of qualifying preventing teams from changing their engine modes for the rest of the weekend, Mercedes was still in a league of its own and finished eight-tenths clear of the rest.

Behind the dominant Mercedes duo, Carlos Sainz sealed a remarkable third on the grid for McLaren, while Sergio Perez lifted his Racing Point onto the second row of the grid ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Lando Norris was sixth ahead of the lead Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, with Lance Stroll, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly completing the top 10 for Racing Point, Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

Daniil Kvyat missed out on a spot in the top-10 shootout by just over a tenth as he took 11th in his AlphaTauri, ahead of Esteban Ocon’s Renault.

Charles Leclerc admitted 13th was “the best I could do” as he lapped over a second off the pace as the highest-placed Ferrari, meaning the Scuderia missed out on qualifying inside the top 10 at Monza for the first time since 1984.

Leclerc was half a second clear of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo, while Kevin Magnussen failed to improve on his initial Q2 effort as he ran wide, leaving him 15th on the grid.

Romain Grosjean narrowly missed out on a spot in Q2 and knocking out the Red Bull of Albon, who was only 0.035s faster during a hectic end to Q1 as traffic caused chaos.

Sebastian Vettel was the headline driver to be eliminated in the first segment of qualifying after being compromised by running closely behind George Russell’s Williams on his final flying effort.

Vettel failed to improve and was left a lowly 17th on the grid for Ferrari’s home race, with the four-time world champion getting knocked out of Q1 for the first time since the 2019 German Grand Prix, calling the end of the session “a mess”.

Ahead of qualifying, the FIA had instructed drivers that a 1m43s lap would be required while not on a flying lap to stop driving too slowly in preparation for a timed effort after multiple incidents throughout practice, including Hamilton’s near-miss when he encountered traffic at the end of FP3.

Home-favourite Antonio Giovinazzi was unable to follow his Alfa Romeo teammate in progressing from Q1 for the first time this season as he took 18th, ahead of the Williams duo.

George Russell maintained his 100 percent record of outqualifying his F1 teammate by beating Nicholas Latifi by two-tenths, with the Williams pair anchored to the back row of the grid.

The incident involving Ocon, Raikkonen and Latifi in Q1 will be investigated after qualifying.




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