Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth Italian Grand Prix pole, the 49th of his Formula One career overall. Nico Rosberg qualified fourth – less than a tenth shy of a front row grid slot – despite being forced to change engines after FP3 following a problem with his planned race unit. The replacement Power Unit was previously used in Spa and is now being entered for its sixth race weekend. Both drivers ran once in Q1 (prime), Lewis once (option) and Nico twice (option / option) in Q2, and both twice in Q3 (option/option).
Ferrari did a great job. They’re very close here and it’ll be a good fight. In terms of my lap, it was good but not perfect. My Spa qualifying lap was definitely better. But the car has felt good all weekend and the crew have been fantastic as always. The guys in the garage did an amazing job to turn Nico’s car around after practice. I don’t know what the problem was but I’m not concerned for tomorrow. Pole is always a great feeling but there’s a long way down to turn one and Ferrari are strong off the line. Last year I didn’t have a good start and had to fight hard so nothing is done yet. We’ve shown strong pace in our long run simulations though so hopefully we can keep that up tomorrow in the race.
First of all, a big thanks to the boys in the garage for getting the car ready just in time for Qualifying. I had a good session and my laps felt quite good. But unfortunately, after the problem in FP3, I had to run an old engine which had already been used for five race weekends so I had a small lack of power. With every kilometre you lose a bit of power and Monza is a power track where the engine has a big impact. It will be tough tomorrow, as I will probably also be a bit slower in the race because of that. But I will never give up. I have to fight for a great start and hope to overtake the two Ferraris in front of me quickly to give myself a chance of catching Lewis. So, a disappointing and unlucky afternoon – but there is still a lot to play for tomorrow.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
First of all, I want to congratulate Lewis on a fantastic pole position – his seventh in a row, which is close to record territory. He has been on strong form this weekend and showed that through every part of qualifying, too. But it’s a bittersweet feeling today because of the problem we suffered with Nico. I want to congratulate the boys in the garage for an amazing job to change his engine between practice and qualifying, after we suffered the problem at the end of this morning’s session. But it certainly sent Nico into qualifying on the back foot, using a Power Unit that has already completed five races, and he wasn’t happy with the car balance either, suffering from quite a lot of understeer. In the circumstances, he did an excellent job. We didn’t achieve our potential today and, as we saw, we have a very strong rival in Ferrari. We can expect an exciting but challenging race tomorrow afternoon.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
An exciting qualifying session, if not the complete result we were hoping for. Unfortunately we had a problem with the engine in Nico’s car at the end of FP3, so we reverted back to the Power Unit he ran in Spa – which is already five races old. The team did a fantastic job to turn the car around in time to run trouble-free right from the start of qualifying, so all credit to the mechanics for their excellent work. When it came to the qualifying battle ourselves, Ferrari and Williams showed particularly good pace, which made for a tense contest that had built up through the three sessions. Lewis then produced another top quality lap to take another pole position, so a big congratulations to him. With Nico starting from fourth and the competition looking close, we should be set for an entertaining race tomorrow and we look forward to that.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1