F1 2016 Italian Monza Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton storms to pole position
PUBLISHED: 20:26 03 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:27 04 September 2016
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position at Monza in qualifying for the 2016 Italian Grand Prix.
The 31-year-old Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire claimed his 56th career pole position today (Sunday) in Italy.
It was also his fifth at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, and seventh pole of the 2016 season so far.
Hamilton powered to a fastest Q3 lap of 1m 21.135s to beat Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg to pole.
The Silver Arrows team still claimed an eighth front-row lockout of the season, with Rosberg second quickest in qualifying with a lap time of 1m21.613s.
Sebastian Vettel was third in the provisional qualifying results ahead of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who will line up on the second row of the starting grid.
Hamilton, a three-time winner at Monza, said after qualifying: “I loved that lap, it felt fantastic. It was poetry in motion – the adrenaline was crazy.
“I’ve felt good all weekend and it all started with the initial setup from Friday. I’ve been working closely with my engineers and mechanics, taking small steps forward with the balance of the car, and I knew if it all came together then I could do that kind of lap time.
“It’s a really tough circuit and you have to get everything right, especially the braking zones. The team has done another fantastic job today and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Both Mercedes drivers completed a single run in Q1 (super soft), two runs in Q2 (soft/soft) and another two runs in Q3 (super soft/super soft).
Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, felt it was “a dominant performance” by the team “especially from Lewis”.
The Mercedes boss said: “He has had a little advantage throughout most of the weekend and he could make really good use of it this afternoon.
“It was important to get both cars through Q2 on the soft tyres, so we have that strategic advantage for the first stint and then more options in the race, and both boys did that quite comfortably.
“We have seen some good gaps this afternoon and during practice – the car has been in a good sweet spot ever since we hit the track on Friday morning.
“But, like always, we only score the points on Sunday afternoon. So let’s do our properly homework tonight and everything we can to make sure the picture looks just as good tomorrow evening.”
Paddy Lowe, the team’s executive director, added: “Congratulations to Lewis on an absolutely stunning lap in Q3 for pole position and a great job by Nico to complete the front row.
“The car ran really well today and it’s testament to the hard work and dedication of the team back at Brackley and Brixworth, as well as the team here in the garage, to get the right setup in place for the drivers.
“We elected to run the soft tyre in Q2, considering that the better tyre to start the race on, with the knowledge it had the pace to get us safely through to Q3.
“Both drivers were also keen to get more practice on the soft tyre.”
After qualifying second, Rosberg said: “I’ve had a good weekend so far, but Lewis produced some really good laps. I couldn’t match him today.
“But my race pace was really good in practice on Friday, so I’m very positive for tomorrow.
“It’s a long race and you never know what can happen, I will give it everything.
“It’s clear our car is the quickest around the Monza track and I anticipate a great duel with Lewis again.
“The atmosphere is great and it would mean a lot to me if I were to win here.”
The 2016 Italian Grand Prix starts at 1pm BST on Sunday.
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