Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas take P2 and P3 on the grid at Monza. Lewis missed out on a seventh Italian GP pole by just 0.039s to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in a dramatic end to Q3. Valtteri was third quickest, missing out on a spot on the front row by a mere 0.008s. Both drivers set their Q2 best times on the Soft tyre and will start tomorrow’s race on that compound.
We didn’t get pole but at the end of the day, Ferrari were always going to be strong here and Charles did a great job today. I was unfortunate with Kimi spinning off right in front of me, so I had to lift at the last corner on my first lap. The end of Q3 was a bit of an anti-climax; we couldn’t all go out and do that final lap, which is usually one of the most exciting parts of a race weekend. There was more time in the car, so it’s disappointing that we didn’t get to properly thrash that out on the final lap and see who had that little edge today. It’s great to be able to get on the front row and separate the Ferraris. Together we’ve got a good chance as a team to get that Ferrari, but let’s see tomorrow.
I think I was quite unlucky today with the yellow flag at the final corner on my first lap. Kimi went off and I had to lift. Even with that lap I was pretty close to Charles and Lewis, so it could have been an even better day for me. Then the final run was a bit of a mess for everyone. We just ran out of the time at the end of Q3. I got stuck in traffic and then it was too late to get to the line for a second quick lap. It’s a shame, we all would have liked to get that lap in and I’m sure everyone wanted to see that too; hopefully we can learn from this. But in general, the pace was good and I’m pleased with my performance today. I’m happy to be right behind the front row; we all know that it’s tomorrow that counts and you’ve always got a good chance starting in the top three here. Our race pace seemed good yesterday, so hopefully we can take the fight to the Ferraris tomorrow.
It was a bizarre end to qualifying today; we were all trying to get the slipstream out there and that waiting game in the end just made everyone in Formula 1 look silly. Nevertheless, starting P2 and P3 in Monza and splitting the Ferraris is not a bad situation at all so we are very much looking forward to the race tomorrow. This position is something we would have taken coming here, but we are all racers and of course we will aim for more on Sunday. We are in a good position, we have a good car, not the fastest on the straights, but there are options. We’ll make sure we are ready for tomorrow and I know we’re all looking forward to getting out there and scoring some solid points.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1