Leclerc takes Italian GP pole

Leclerc will start ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell after the one-hour Qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 Shootout of Q3.

A raft of grid penalties for power unit and gearbox changes means the starting grid is very much jumbled up from the Qualifying order, with almost half the field affected. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was second fastest in qualifying, ahead of the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, but they both dropped back on the grid due to penalties.

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Italian Grand Prix starting grid: Leclerc on pole from Russell

What happened in Italian Grand Prix Q1?

Verstappen set the bar at 1m22.023s but was soon topped by the Ferraris of Sainz at 1m21.348s and then Leclerc at 1m21.280s. Russell also outpaced Verstappen, albeit half a second off the Ferrari pace.

Verstappen pushed again and retook P1, on his fourth lap on these tires, with 1m20.922s to top the session by 0.358s.

Falling at the first hurdle were Nicholas Latifi (Williams, who blew the Rettifilo Chicane on his last lap), the Aston Martins of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, and the Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen (who lost a lap good enough for P11 due to exceeding track limits) and Mick Schumacher (who also locked up at Rettifilo on his final attempt).

Italian Grand Prix Q1 results: Verstappen fastest from Leclerc

What happened in Italian Grand Prix Q2?

Verstappen set the early pace again, at 1m21.265s, but Sainz soon beat that with 1m20.878s, as Leclerc straight-lined the Rettifilo Chicane on his opening lap.

Leclerc went P2 on his second attempt, 0.33s down. Verstappen slipped back to third, 0.387s off the pace, just ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.

Knocked out at this point were Esteban Ocon (Alpine, who has a five-place grid penalty), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Nyck de Vries (in for Alex Albon at Williams, but he overshot the Roggia Chicane on his new tires) , Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) and Yuki Tsunoda (who didn’t run in his AlphaTauri as he’s going to the very back of the grid).

Italian Grand Prix Q2 results: Sainz fastest from Leclerc

What happened in Italian Grand Prix Q3?

On the first runs, Sainz set the fastest time of 1m20.584s, 0.186s ahead of Leclerc’s 1m20.770s, with Verstappen a further tenth back in third at 1m20.859s. Perez led the rest but was over three quarters of a second off the pace.

On the final runs, Leclerc grabbed pole with 1m20.161s, 0.145s faster than Verstappen’s 1m20.906s, with Sainz third fastest at 1m20.429s. Perez was fourth fastest, ahead of the Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell.

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Lando Norris was seventh, ahead of McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) both had their lap times deleted for track limits.

Sainz will start from the back of the grid, where he will line up in 18th ahead of Hamilton and Tsunoda.

Verstappen has a five-place penalty, and Perez has 10-places, so Russell will start from the front row on Sunday. The McLarens will form row two, ahead of Gasly and Alonso.

Verstappen will start seventh, alongside debutant de Vries.

Italian Grand Prix Q3 results: Leclerc takes pole

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