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You are here: Motorsport Formula 1 Hamilton beats Rosberg to Italian Grand Prix pole, Ferraris lock out Row 2

Hamilton beats Rosberg to Italian Grand Prix pole, Ferraris lock out Row 2

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Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes secured pole position for the Italian Grand Prix with the fastest lap in Saturday's qualifying at the Monza Formula One circuit. The defending world champion dominated all three sessions in qualifying to post a best time of 1 minute 21.135 seconds for the 56th pole position of his career. His team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg was second, 0.478 seconds adrift.

Sebastian Vettel was third quickest in 1.21.972 a place ahead of his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was fourth in 1.22.065. Valtteri Bottas qualified fifth quickest in his Williams, setting a best time of 1:22.388. The Red Bulls were 6th and 7th quickest with Daniel Ricciardo 0.022 seconds quicker than Max Verstappen.

Hamilton shared after his blistering lap, "I loved that lap, it felt fantastic. It was poetry in motion - the adrenaline was crazy. I've felt good all weekend and it all started with the initial setup from Friday. I've been working closely with my engineers and mechanics, taking small steps forward with the balance of the car, and I knew if it all came together then I could do that kind of lap time. It's a really tough circuit and you have to get everything right, especially the braking zones. The team has done another fantastic job today and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Rosberg, who was just that much slower that Hamilton all day, said, "I've had a good weekend so far, but Lewis produced some really good laps. I couldn't match him today. But my race pace was really good in practice on Friday, so I'm very positive for tomorrow. It's a long race and you never know what can happen, I will give it everything. It's clear our car is the quickest around the Monza track and I anticipate a great duel with Lewis again. The atmosphere is great and it would mean a lot to me if I were to win here."

Vettel was satisfied about his weekend's performance thus far, sharing, ”Overall it has been a good weekend so far, putting both cars in the second row. I’m sure we can have a good race from there tomorrow. Hopefully we can take the advantage at the start but we have to wait and see. Once the lights go out we hope we can find a good traction which the tires should give us. It’s a long way down to Turn 1 and even if we can try something the race is not one stretch, it’s 53 laps around here."

"To be honest, after I saw the times already in Q1 and in Q2 on a different compound, I knew it would be difficult, but you never know…I was pushing as hard as I could, probably too hard in the first run in Q3 and it wasn’t a good lap; fortunately in the end I got it back again. I think overall I’m pretty happy, not so much with the beginning of the lap but I think our race pace is better than the gap in qualifying indicates, so we’ll see. We don’t mind who’s behind us, the important thing is whoever is in front and we still have two cars. The gap is a bit bigger than we would like, but equally the last two races things are coming down a little bit more and things are heading the right way also back in the factory. Even if we don’t like it, we need to be a bit patient, I’m sure it will come,” he concluded.