Hamilton powers to Monza pole

Hamilton Monza 2015

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton achieved his seventh consecutive pole position this season at the classic Monza circuit.

The Mercedes driver edged out both Ferraris and his team-mate to score his 49th career pole. Hamilton was able to benefit from Mercedes latest ‘development’ F1 engine to good effect to take P1 by 0.234 seconds from Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton wasn’t able to improve on his one minute, 23.397 seconds on his second qualifying run, but both efforts were good enough for pole.

Raikkonen edged out his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel by just 0.054 seconds on his final run to be best of the Scuderia’s two drivers in front of its passionate home crowd.

Running Ferrari’s newly upgraded power unit, they were less than a tenth quicker than Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Rosberg.

Rosberg noticed a “strange oscillation” with his new Mercedes power unit in final free practice, so the team reverted to the less powerful spec used in the previous race at Spa-Francorchamps.

The lack of horsepower revealed a telling truth as he trailed team-mate Hamilton by 0.306 seconds.

Williams team-mates Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas locked out row three of the grid, nearly half a second clear of the Force India of Sergio Perez.

Spa podium finisher Romain Grosjean split the Force Indias by placing his Lotus eighth fastest, 0.428 seconds further back from Perez.

Nico Hulkenberg suffered a loss of power after his first run in Q3, so didn’t run again.

The Force India driver’s time of one minute, 25.317 seconds was only good enough for ninth on the grid, well clear of the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson, who was the final car in the top ten shootout.

Pastor Maldonado missed out on making Q3 by just a tiny margin of 0.015 seconds, as just over two tenths of a second covered sixth to P11 places in Q2.

Felipe Nasr ended up 0.441 seconds adrift of Sauber team-mate Ericsson and also missed the cut, winding up P12.

The Renault-powered cars were far too slow to have a realistic chance of making Q3.

The Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz pipped Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull to P13 by 0.178 seconds, but they will be hit with grid penalties for various engine component changes at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull required an engine change after a problem in final free practice, and he only took to the track with less than three minutes remaining of the first part of qualifying.

He was a tenth faster than team-mate Kvyat with that single run in Q1, but didn’t venture out on track again, so ended up P15 overall after Q2.

Ricciardo’s late show in Q1 meant neither McLaren-Honda escaped the first part of qualifying, though Jenson Button leapfrogged team-mate Fernando Alonso by 0.096 seconds right at the end.

Will Stevens again defeated Roberto Merhi in the private battle of the Manor/Marussias, just under two tenths clear.

Both were trailed by the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, who was delayed by an engine change and joined the session too late to set a time.

His only significant contribution to the session was to see his STR10 shed its engine cover at Curve Grande as the first part of qualifying concluded.

Mercedes Monza 2015

Qualifying positions, Monza:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m23.397s
2    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m23.631s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m23.685s
4    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m23.703s
5    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m23.940s
6    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m24.127s
7    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m24.626s
8    Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Mercedes    1m25.054s
9    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m25.317s
10    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m26.214s
11    Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Mercedes    1m24.525s
12    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1m24.898s
13    Will Stevens    Marussia-Ferrari    1m27.731s
14    Roberto Merhi    Marussia-Ferrari    1m27.912s
15    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m25.633s*
16    Daniil Kvyat    Red Bull-Renault    1m25.796s*
17    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    1m26.058s*
18    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m26.154s*
19    Max Verstappen    Toro Rosso-Renault    No time*
20    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull/Renault   1m25.63s3*
*Engine-change penalties for Sainz, Kvyat, Button, Alonso, Verstappen, Ricciardo

5 thoughts to “Hamilton powers to Monza pole”

  1. Kimi Raikkonen admits Ferrari was surprised by how competitive it was during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

    While Mercedes enjoyed a large advantage during Friday practice, Ferrari closed the gap with each session and was able to challenge for pole position in Q3. Having secured second on the grid – his best qualifying position for more than two years – Raikkonen concedes Ferrari wasn’t expecting to be so quick.

    “I think if we look now we probably surprised ourselves a little bit,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously we expected a strong weekend but we knew this place wasn’t going to be our strongest. In the end the car turned out to pretty good in qualifying conditions, we had many good laps.

    “It’s been a while so it’s nice to be here, especially at a home race for us and our best qualifying performance for us this year as a team. We’ll try to give it a good go tomorrow and get a good result not just for ourselves but all our fans and the Ferrari people who are behind us.”

    And Raikkonen says Ferrari did not pay too much attention to Mercedes’ pace on Friday, knowing it could find more time itself.

    “In a way it’s a big surprise that we were this strong and ahead of the Mercedes. People always talk too much about Friday, but it’s a Friday and you focus on long runs and it’s not about the lap times always or what the others are doing. We just improved the car a bit and drove a bit better than yesterday and today in qualifying it worked out for us.

    “We’re still not happy with second and third, but I think this was a place where we were expecting it to be a bit more difficult because of the circuit layout, but things have been working well for us.

    Source: F1i

  2. This was a difficult qualifying session for McLaren with the double world champion Fernando Alonso admitting the team has no hope of Monza success. Autosport.com has the story.

    Fernando Alonso feels McLaren has no hope of achieving anything in Sunday’s Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.

    With Honda 10mph down on its rivals on straightline speed at Monza, Alonso and team-mate Jenson Button were again knocked out of qualifying at the end of Q1, finishing 17th and 16th respectively.

    Asked whether he had any hope for the race, the double world champion replied: “No, nothing.

    “As happened in Spa if you overtake cars at the start, or you start in front of them because of penalties, they will pass you on lap one so it’s even more frustrating.

    “Nothing has changed. We will try to do our race, to learn things on the car and finish as high up as possible.

    “It’s not the best situation, but unfortunately it is the way it is at the moment because we are not competitive at all.

    “I know it’s a little repetitive what we say, and it’s so negative because we are out of Q1 and we are so slow.

    “We know we are last which is frustrating for everybody in the team, but it’s a period we need to go through altogether.”

    Alonso believes data from this weekend’s running at Monza proves just how much McLaren is losing out on the straights.

    “On a circuit that has six corners, on the GPS we lose six tenths in those six corners.

  3. Marcus Ericsson has been hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.

    Sauber driver Ericsson will fall from 10th to 13th on the grid at Monza after being found guilty by the stewards of impeding Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg during the first part of qualifying.

    Hulkenberg was on a flying lap in Q1 when Ericsson pulled across on to the German’s racing line on the approach into the Parabolica.

    Ericsson has also been handed two penalty points on his licence, and is now up to seven for the relevant 12-month period.

    The Swede blamed the team for failing to provide him with the information Hulkenberg was approaching on a fast lap.

    “Basically, in our team we have a system where the team gets information on the screens in the pitbox, whether another driver is on a quick or slow lap. Then they communicate that to me over the radio,” Ericsson told AUTOSPORT.

    “So when I’m out on a slow lap they tell me whether a car is coming or pushing, or on pace with me.

    “So I get the call from the team everyone is on pace with me, no cars coming, to focus on preparing for a new lap, the tyres and all the switch changes I need to do.

    “I was following the Ferraris, doing the preparations, the switch changes, and I then enter the Parabolica and when I exit I see Nico is right behind me.

    “I had no idea he was coming on a flying lap. I got the information no one else was pushing behind me.

    “I can see on the replay it doesn’t look good, but I had no idea he was coming. I understand the penalty.”

    Ericsson and Hulkenberg were later involved in a second incident in Q1, but the Swede has avoided any further punishment for the additional misdemeanour.

    Hulkenberg said: “The first you saw on TV was into Parabolica, and the next was after a cool-down lap, I was pushing into Turn 4 [Roggia] and he wasn’t very helpful either in that moment.

    “He just stayed on the ideal line, gave me dirty air, I get into trouble and lost laptime.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  4. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claimed his 11th pole position of the season as he topped the timesheet for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

    The Mercedes driver, whose team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg will start fourth after engine problems forced him to revert to using one without the latest updates, now has 49 career poles.

    The pole, in bright sunshine, was the Briton’s fourth at Monza and 23rd in succession for Mercedes, one short of the record set by the Williams team in 1992-93. Kimi Raikkonen joined him on the front row with Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel qualifying third.

    “These guys did a great job, they are very close,” said Hamilton, who leads Rosberg by 28 points in the championship, of his Ferrari rivals after taking pole with a lap of one minute 23.397 seconds and two tenths faster than Raikkonen.

    “My Spa lap was better,” he added, referring to his Belgian pole of two weeks earlier.

    Vettel, who could become the first driver since Stirling Moss in the 1950s to win at Monza with three different teams, hoped Ferrari would have a chance on Sunday but made clear Hamilton was the overwhelming favourite.

    “I think it’s a fantastic result, second and third and very close to Lewis,” said the German, racing for the first time in Italy in Ferrari red.

    “Sorry Lewis, but I wouldn’t mind if you are not on the podium,” he grinned. “You can be, but if we are both ahead of you that would obviously be a dream come true.

    “I think dreaming is allowed but you have to be realistic. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow and these guys (Mercedes) have some serious pace.”

    Source: Eurosport

  5. The reason why Nico Hulkenberg was unable to compete in qualifying was that his car ran out of fuel. Autosport.com has the details.

    The Force India Formula 1 team says a “fuel miscalculation” was the reason behind Nico Hulkenberg’s stoppage during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

    Hulkenberg’s car ground to a halt at the pit entry after his first run in Q3, with the German complaining over the radio that he had “no power”.

    Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley told AUTOSPORT Hulkenberg’s car ran out of fuel before reaching the garage.

    “It was a fuel miscalculation; that was all,” Fernley explained.

    “It was human error. We have very few engineering issues like that.

    “I can assure you people who make those mistakes feel pretty bad.

    “It was a mistake. We are seventh and ninth, we probably could have been seventh and eighth, so it’s not too bad.”

    Hulkenberg ended up setting the ninth fastest time on used tyres, 0.691s behind team-mate Sergio Perez.

    He said the team could not refuel the car in time for a second run, because the fuel system got too hot after running dry.

    “It was a mess and we couldn’t re-start the engine because we had run dry, [and the] fuel pumps are hot,” Hulkenberg said.

    “It needs time to cool down to get it [the fuel] back in, and we didn’t have much time obviously.

    “We couldn’t re-start and then missed the final run of Q3 on new rubber, unfortunately.

    “The first run was on three-lap used tyres, but the new one – unless you do a mistake – is the best one, so it dictates your grid position.

    “I think seventh would have been possible, but now we’re ninth.

    “It’s not the end of the world – we still can have a decent race from there.”

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