Lewis Hamilton says he was “nervous” whether he had made the right decision over some “some big changes” to his Mercedes Formula 1 car heading into Italian Grand Prix qualifying.

Hamilton soared to his 94th career pole position and sixth of the 2020 season as he topped qualifying at Monza for the seventh time by outpacing teammate Valtteri Bottas by just 0.069s.

But the Briton revealed he had made some radical set-up changes to his Mercedes W11 that left him “nervous” ahead of qualifying after finishing fifth in final practice on Saturday morning.

“It was not too bad!” said Hamilton after qualifying.

“Fantastic performance form the team today just in terms of timing, when they put us out on track.

“It was not the easiest – you saw how close it was between us all, so it really demanded a clean lap and I think I got that on both.

“So I’m generally really happy with the actual laps I did. Valtteri was very, very close, pushing.

“I made some big changes going in to qualifying, so I was a little bit nervous going in that it was the right thing to do but it worked just fine.”

Hamilton, who clocked the fastest ever lap in F1 history on his way to pole position as he averaged 164mph around the 5.793km track, said he was staggered by the amount of grip he had throughout qualifying.

“I’ve had times where I’ve had less downforce and less grip,” he explained.

“I would say today with the temperatures, there was quite a lot of grip out there. The speeds we’re going through the Lesmos is pretty awesome.

“You are moving around when you get to the low speed sections, so Turns 1, 2, 3 4, 5, it’s definitely a little bit tricky there.

“But the rest of it, you’re just trying to gauge how much you try and attack, keep the minimum speed up and make sure you get the exits, because you’ve got these long straights, so it’s trying to find the balance which is not so easy.”

 

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