2016 Italian Grand Prix Qualifying Review

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But heading into Qualifying, it would seem that Mercedes are looking like the teams to beat heading into the session that look set to gain Pole Position ahead of the race on Sunday. But Ferrari, McLaren, Ferrari, Toro Rosso or Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Lewis Hamilton leads the way in Q1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton leads the way in Q1 and Q2. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

In Q1, we saw Lewis Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.21.851, Nico Rosberg was second, Sebastian Vettel was third, Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, Max Verstappen was sixth, Valtteri Bottas was seventh, Esteban Gutierrez was eighth, Romain Grosjean was ninth and Sergio Perez rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q1 we lose Felipe Nasr, Daniil Kvyat, Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palmer, Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon.

During Q1, we saw Esteban Ocon going off at the run off before Turn 1 with suspected electronic failure on his Manor. This then brought out the yellow flags while the car and driver were recovered off the circuit safely.

In Q2, we saw  Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.21.498, Rosberg was second, Vettel was third, Bottas was fourth, Raikkonen was fifth, Ricciardo was sixth,  Gutierrez was seventh, Verstappen was eighth, Perez was ninth and Hulkenberg rounded off the top ten finishers.

At the end of Q2 we lose Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Fernando Alonso, Pascal Wehrlein, Jenson Button and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Lewis Hamilton claims Pole Position for the Italian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place.

Lewis Hamilton claims Pole Position for the Italian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place.

At the end of Q3, Hamilton took Pole Position for the Italian GP, with a lap time of 1.21.135. Rosberg finished in second place 0.149 seconds behind Hamilton, Vettel finished in third place 0.837 seconds behind Hamilton, Raikkonen finished in fourth place 0.930 seconds behind Hamilton and Bottas was fifth place 1.253 seconds behind Hamilton.

Ricciardo ended the session in sixth place 1.254 seconds behind Hamilton, Verstappen finished in seventh place 1.276 seconds behind Rosberg, Perez finished in eight place 1.679 seconds behind Rosberg, Hulkenberg finished in ninth place 1.701 seconds behind Rosberg and Hulkenberg finished in tenth place.

It would seem that Mercedes genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend despite their form in Qualifying. Both of the Mercedes drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this and have been consistent and fast throughout every session so far this weekend; even if Hamilton has a challenge on his hands to get a result this weekend.

You cannot discount Ricciardo, Verstappen or Vettel even to be challenging also for the race win and could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes (and also Ferrari in Mercedes’ case) that could see gaining some points on their rivals to kick start their Constructors Championship.

Hulkenberg, Perez and Raikkonen could also have a decent race and pick up some much needed points for their respective teams. Will it rain? I do not know. Who will win the Grand Prix on Sunday? I really don’t know.

But let’s see what happens tomorrow on the Monza circuit on race day on Sunday…

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