Lewis Hamilton secured his career's 56th pole by beating his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, by half a second at the Monza circuit in Italy. Interestingly, this is also Hamilton's fifth pole on the Italian turf, placing him second to only Juan Manuel Fangio, who holds the record for six poles at Monza. This is also the eighth front-row lockout for the Silver Arrows team this season, which should give you an idea of the Mercedes' dominance this season.
Qualifying third was Sebastian Vettel, and was within three tenths of Nico Rosberg's time. Following him fourth on the grid was Kimi Raikkonen to lock the second row for the scarlet outfit. Following the Iceman was compatriot Valtteri Bottas of Williams in fifth, who surprisingly managed to keep the two Red Bulls out of the top 5.
Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo qualified sixth, followed by team-mate Max Verstappen in seventh. Following the two Red Bulls were the two Force India cars with Sergio Perez in eighth spot, followed by Nico Hulkenberg in ninth. Haas' Esteban Gutierrez followed in tenth to round off the front half of the grid.
A star performance in the qualifying session was that of Pascal Wehrlein, the Mercedes junior driver who split the two McLarens and made it to Q2, which is a rare sight for Manor racing. The German has been getting better with every race weekend and he starts fairly ahead of the Saubers and Renaults. Although he qualified 14th, Romain Grosjean, who qualified 12th, will serve his penalties and be pushed down the order. That promotes Pascal to 13th behind Fernando Alonso in P12. The only driver who failed to set a time was Manor's Esteban Ocon who had to abort his run in Q1 when his car stopped outside the first chicane due to a mechanical problem.
The Monza is Ferrari's backyard and the team could have a slight advantage here. Yes, it's a testing game for Mercedes with all the larger than life prancing horse banners and a sea of passionate, sometimes biased, Tifosi filling up the grandstands. However, an invincible Silver Arrows performance in the home of the red squad, has pressured the Maranello team.
For Ferrari, the double header of Spa and Monza are usually what they look forward to and spend a lot of development tokens to bring upgrades to these races. A double podium is the minimum they aim for on home-ground, and their efforts are double to impress the Tifosi.
Known as the 'temple of speed', Monza has always thrown up an interesting race and although the starting grid might isn't something we haven't seen before, it can get quite unpredictable here. What remains to be seen is the mayhem that unfolds tomorrow in the race, which starts at 5\:30 pm IST.
Full classification of the Qualifying \:1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1\:21.1352. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1\:21.6133. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1\:21.9724. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1\:22.0655. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1\:22.3886. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1\:22.3897. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1\:22.4118. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1\:22.8149. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1\:22.83610. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, 1\:23.18411. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1\:22.96712. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1\:23.09213. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1\:23.27314. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1\:23.31515. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1\:23.39916. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1\:23.49617. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1\:23.82518. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1\:23.95619. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1\:24.08720. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1\:24.23021. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 1\:24.43622. Esteban Ocon, Manor, No time