Lewis Hamilton has denied teammate Nico Rosberg a fifth successive pole position after dominating qualifying for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The Englishman clocked an outstanding 1:24.109 time in Q3, which Rosberg was unable to beat on his final flying lap.
Qualifying was always going to be headlined by the superior grunt of the Mercedes-powered runners, and the first six grid positions were filled with runners powered by the three-pointed star. The Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa threatened to play a spoiling role, but ultimately neither proved quick enough to overhaul the two championship contenders. The McLarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button rounded out the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s 53-lap race.
Fernando Alonso headed the pride of the tifosi by qualifying seventh-fastest ahead of the two Red Bulls – albeit 1.3 seconds off Hamilton’s ultimate pace – but the same could not be said of teammate Kimi Räikkönen, who failed to make the Q3 cut for the seventh time this season with an error-ridden run in the second phase of qualifying. The 2007 World Champion qualified twelfth-fastest, but will move up one grid slot courtesy of a ten-place grid penalty for Daniil Kvyat.
Aside from Räikkönen’s demise, the second phase didn’t produce much in the way of surprises, with back-to-back failures to make Q3 for Nico Hülkenberg perhaps being the only other. The Force India driver seemed to struggle with balance and tyre temperature, and was outqualified by teammate Sergio Pérez for just the third time this season.
Lotus’ ‘all at sea’ weekend continued into qualifying, with Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean predictably joining the Caterhams and Marussias in being eliminated in the first phase of qualifying. The surprise performer of the sextet was Kamui Kobayashi, who outqualified both Marussias and was less than four-hundredths of a second off overhauling Grosjean.
2014 Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:24.109||20|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:24.383||+ 0.274||19|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:24.697||+ 0.588||16|
|4.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:24.865||+ 0.756||17|
|5.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:25.314||+ 1.205||18|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:25.379||+ 1.270||18|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:25.430||+ 1.321||17|
|8.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:25.436||+ 1.327||18|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:25.709||+ 1.600||17|
|10.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:25.944||+ 1.835||23|
|Q3 Cut-Off: 1:25.973||Time||Gap*||Laps|
|11.||Daniil Kvyat^||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:26.070||+ 1.510||16|
|12.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:26.110||+ 1.550||13|
|13.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:26.157||+ 1.597||15|
|14.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:26.279||+ 1.719||18|
|15.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:26.588||+ 2.028||17|
|16.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:26.692||+ 2.132||17|
|Q2 Cut-Off: 1:27.034||Time||Gap**||Laps|
|17.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:27.520||+ 2.157||8|
|18.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:27.632||+ 2.269||5|
|19.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:27.671||+ 2.308||9|
|20.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:27.738||+ 2.375||8|
|21.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:28.247||+ 2.884||8|
|22.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:28.562||+ 3.199||9|
* Gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:24.560 by Lewis Hamilton
** Gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:25.363 by Lewis Hamilton
^ Kvyat incurs a ten-place grid penalty for fitting a six Power Unit element.
Images via XPB Images