Hamilton posts fastest lap in Formula 1 history to take Italian GP pole

Six times world champion Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday with the fastest lap in Formula One history. The Mercedes driver smashed the Monza track record with a sensational lap of one minute 18.887 seconds to lead team mate Valtteri Bottas in another front row lockout. 

This was Hamilton’s 93rd career pole, his seventh in Monza, and he will start as the favourite to win for a 90th time on Sunday, moving him to within just one victory of Michael Schumacher’s record.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz qualified third, with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez fourth. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel will line up 13th and 17th respectively for their team’s home race.


Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix : Hamilton posts fastest lap in F1 history to take Italian GP pole

Hamilton flew around Monza’s 3.54 miles of asphalt in 164.267mph on his way to a new track record at the so-called Temple of Speed. Valtteri Bottas joins his team-mate in yet another Mercedes front-row lockout, – the Finn just seven hundredths behind Hamilton – with McLaren driver Carlos Sainz a surprise third.

On a torrid afternoon for Ferrari, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finished 13th and 17th. It marks the first time in 36 years that both scarlet cars will start Ferrari’s home race outside the top 10. Max Verstappen finished a disappointing fifth, one spot behind Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.

While Ferrari struggles, Hamilton eclipsed Kimi Raikkonen’s one-lap record of 163.785mph, set by the former world champion on his way to pole two years ago.

Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri has given his blessing for beleaguered team principal Mattia Binotto to continue in his role.

But the 50-year-old will face further questions over his future here on Saturday evening after another miserable display from his under-performing team.

Vettel was the first to fall, knocked out of Q1 after he came unstuck in traffic as he squabbled for position through the Parabolica in order to maximise the tow along the pit straight.

“What a mess”, he said after he failed to improve on his time. Leclerc made it through to Q2, but failed to trouble the top 10, eliminated in 13th.

“The best I can do, the best I can do”, said Leclerc. In 70 editions of Ferrari’s home race, when both cars have go to the line, the Italian team have never had both drivers finish outside the top 10. That streak would appear to be in grave danger.

Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix : Final Positions after Qualifying

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 18.887secs
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:18.956
  3. Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:19.695
  4. Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:19.720
  5. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:19.795
  6. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:19.820
  7. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:19.864
  8. Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:20.049
  9. Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:20.090
  10. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:20.177