Formula 1: Bottas Storms to Pole in Monza Ahead of Sprint Qualifying
Mercedes takes their first front row lockout since Hungary as Verstappen completes the top three amid Red Bull’s struggles in Monza.
Valtteri Bottas takes his first pole since Portimao as he pips Lewis Hamilton in their final flying laps by just under a tenth of a second. The Finn made an incredible comeback after committing an error in his first flying lap, where he dipped the gravel trap whilst exiting the second chicane, before making up for it in his final lap and acing every sector to take the pole. With Red Bull’s Max Verstappen rounding off the top three a distant four-tenths behind, it is likely going to be a team battle for the Silver Arrows in tomorrow’s Sprint Qualifying, while Verstappen will have to fend off the mighty McLarens who were just three-hundredths adrift of the Dutchman.
Pierre Gasly flew under the radar once again finishing sixth overall. Being last year’s Monza victor in rather eventful circumstances, he will be motivated to bring the AlphaTauri home as the top Italian constructor for the second consecutive time in the temple of speed. He had already done so today beating the Ferrari pair of Sainz and Leclerc, who ended seventh and eighth respectively.
Red Bull’s struggles seemed too much to overcome for Sergio Perez, as the Mexican was seeking a tow for most of the session, ending the day in 9th. Finishing in the podium in the race 9 years prior, Perez will aim to fight his way back to the front yet again to secure a strong grid place for the race day.
Rounding off the top ten is Antonio Giovinazzi, who makes his second consecutive Q3 appearance. Hopefully, he will turn his fortunes around after a season plagued with terrible luck, suffering misfortunes mostly through no fault of his own. He will be aiming to score points in front of his and Alfa Romeo’s home fans and will be hungrier than ever after his luck ran out last weekend, where he got a puncture while in contention for points. Driving what is one of the least competitive cars on the grid, we may easily see some heroic efforts from the Italian, whether it is to secure a single championship point or give the home crowd a great show.
Full Qualifying results:
Image credits: Mercedes AMG Petronas & LAT Images, Formula 1