Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s inaugural Tuscan Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Mugello Circuit from pole position, narrowly beating Mercedes-AMG teammate Valtteri Bottas to top spot.
Hamilton’s time of 1:15.144 – posted on his first Q3 run – ultimately proved good enough to claim his 95th pole in Formula 1. Bottas was less than six-hundredths of a second adrift at the end of his first timed run and after being the quickest driver in all three practice sessions, the Finn regrouped in his attempts to deny the Englishman.
Hamilton failed to go quicker on his second run, leaving it all to play for Bottas, but his hopes of improving were dashed by Renault’s Esteban Ocon who had a wild spin at the exit of Turn 3 and brought out the yellow flags. Bottas was just behind the Frenchman and had to back off, much to his obvious frustration.
The two Red Bull Racing Hondas of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – the latter equalling his best qualifying performance – locked out the second row of the grid, while Charles Leclerc gave Ferrari some reason to celebrate at its 1000th Grand Prix outing by qualifying a surprise fifth-fastest.
Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez opted for only one run in Q3, with a clear track helping the Mexican to sixth-fastest ahead of teammate Lance Stroll. The two will swap places on the grid, however, as Pérez will serve a one-place grid penalty for colliding with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen in FP2 on Friday.
Daniel Ricciardo was eighth-fastest in his Renault, while teammate Ocon’s spin left him the slowest of the Q3 runners having not set a time. The pair was split by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr; the Spaniard having snuck into the top-ten shootout with a late Q2 effort at the expense of teammate Lando Norris who was unable to make a Q3 session for the first time since last year’s Italian Grand Prix.
It was a frustrating qualifying session for the AlphaTauri squad less than a week on from Pierre Gasly’s shock win at Monza. The Frenchman failed to get out of Q1 – his worst qualifying performance of 2020 – while teammate Daniil Kvyat threw away a shot at getting into Q3 with a wild trip through the gravel at Savelli on his final flying lap in Q2.
Kimi Räikkönen qualified his Alfa Romeo thirteenth-fastest with the similarly Ferrari-powered Haas of Romain Grosjean in fifteenth; the pair sandwiched the works Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel who had another low-key qualifying session and was nearly knocked out during Q1.
Räikkönen’s teammate Antonio Giovinazzi once again found himself eliminated at the first hurdle and will start from P17 behind Gasly.
George Russell maintained his 100% qualifying record against a teammate, narrowly pipping Nicholas Latifi to P18. The Englishman’s final Q1 lap saw him run wide at Savelli, but he kept his foot in and managed to better his earlier time to beat his Canadian teammate.
Kevin Magnussen was slowest in his Haas Ferrari.
|FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DELLA TOSCANA FERRARI 1000 2020 – QUALIFYING|
|Q3 Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:15.144|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:15.203||+ 0.059|
|3.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:15.509||+ 0.365|
|4.||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:15.954||+ 0.810|
|5.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:16.270||+ 1.126|
|6.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:16.311||+ 1.167|
|7.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:16.356||+ 1.212|
|8.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:16.543||+ 1.399|
|9.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:17.870||+ 2.726|
|10.||Esteban Ocon||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||no time|
|Q2 Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|11.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:16.640||+ 1.331|
|12.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:16.854||+ 1.545|
|13.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:16.854||+ 1.545|
|14.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:16.858||+ 1.549|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:17.254||+ 1.945|
|Q1 Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap**|
|16.||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:17.125||+ 1.376|
|17.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:17.220||+ 1.471|
|18.||George Russell||Williams Racing FW43||1:17.232||+ 1.483|
|19.||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing FW43||1:17.320||+ 1.571|
|20.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:17.348||+ 1.599|
* Denotes gap to fastest Q2 lap time of 1:15.309 set by Lewis Hamilton
** Denotes gap to fastest Q1 lap time of 1:15.749 set by Valtteri Bottas
- Pérez penalised one grid place for causing a collision with Räikkönen during FP2.
Images via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari
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