Carlos Sainz dazzles at Monza: third on the grid, behind the Mercedes

Carlos Sainz dazzles at Monza: third on the grid, behind the Mercedes

Hamilton, 69 thousandths ahead of Bottas, achieves his 94th pole position and the Spaniard equals his best position on the grid.

Carlos Sainz dazzles at Monza: third on the grid, behind the Mercedes

So much nuisance with the ban on the engine map, so much history with the slip-ups and everything was again too easy for Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Italian GP. The World Cup leader scored pole with a 1: 18.887, only 69 thousandths ahead of Valtteri Bottas , although with an ocean of eight tenths over third. The phenomenal news is that the best of the mortals at Monza was Carlos Sainz , who beat Sergio PĂ©rez (Racing Point) by 25 thousandths and by one tenth to Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lando Norris , his McLaren garage partner.

The track record of Hamilton, author of seven poles in the temple of speed, more than anyone in all history, demonstrates the authority of Toto Wolff's team . Despite the ban on his famous Party Mode, no one is able to keep up with his qualifying pace. You can only resign yourself to fighting for third place. And despite the recent skid at Spa, McLaren and Sainz are out there to hunt him down.

The progression of the MCL-35 was so spectacular that it allowed Verstappen to be displaced and Renault's optimism waned. Sainz knew how to get his best lap at the decisive moment, without having to resort to the famous slip-ups. The best classification of his life, equaling third place in the Styrian GP two months ago, in wet conditions.

Vettel, out in Q1

Sainz and Hamilton had been two of the eight pilots called to chapter in the control tower, 50 minutes before entering the track, to solve some of the many doubts that lurked with the slipstreams. The aim was to avoid last year's embarrassing spectacle, so the stewards reiterated that shooting above 1:43 would trigger a penalty.

However, since the dawn of Q1 it became clear that this would not be enough. In those first 18 minutes, many elbows were already released in the pit lane, where everyone threw themselves to try to find the exact place that gave the advantage. In about half a second, there is nothing. It was the world upside down, with Kimi Raikkonen complaining about Esteban Ocon's slowness. “What a mess. Why are the Alfa Romeos ahead of everyone?” Exclaimed Sebastian Vettel , eliminated in this round for the first time in five years.

Ferrari's appalling performance was redoubled with the elimination of Charles Leclerc in Q2, third to last, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Raikkonen. The Dane from Haas went off through the gravel at Lesmo. Daniel Ricciardo also missed the mark, although he barely saved the ballot, just ahead of Alexander Albon .

The morning notice

By then there were plenty of reasons for optimism at McLaren, who had knocked on the door in the morning free practice session, with Sainz and Norris second and third, only behind Bottas. And it was not a mere artifice, as the Spanish demonstrated, with two extraordinarily competitive times in Q2: 1: 19.723 and 1: 19.705, seven tenths behind the Mercedes.

The Scuderia's worst Saturday at Monza since 1984 coincided with Sainz's best day. Hamilton got rid of Bottas with some ease and the Madrilenian, despite a problem in Lesmo, buckled a formidable 1: 19.695. The dream of the podium, in close conflict with Verstappen and Ricciardo, is more than possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *