Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole position of the 2014 Formula One season since May’s Spanish Grand Prix by beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying at Monza.
Hamilton edged out his rival and erstwhile friend by just 0.2 seconds to hold the advantage at the start of Sunday’s race, while Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked out the second row. There was something of a surprise – and disappointment for the loyal Ferrari tifosi – to see Mclaren sweep the third row ahead of Fernando Alonso; Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t even make it into Q3 and will start 11th on Sunday. Kevin Magnussen had been significantly slower than team-mate Jenson Button across all three practice sessions and the first two segments of qualifying, so his demotion of the Englishman to 6th came as another minor shock in an otherwise predictably Mercedes engine-dominated session.
Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo planted their Red Bull’s 8th and 9th, with Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten for Force India.
Daniil Kvyat set the 11th fastest time but is set to drop to 21st on the grid following a penalty for an engine change. Equal misery abounded at Lotus with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado both crashing out of contention during the opening salvo, only managing 17th and 18th places ahead of Kamui Kobayashi, who put Caterham ahead of Marussia for the first time in many races.
CLASSIFICATION – Qualifying – Italian Grand Prix – 6th September 2014