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Hamilton’s hopes of grand slam repeat in Monza over after P1


Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium

The world championship leader produced one of his most dominant Saturday performances of the season at Monza to end team-mate Nico Rosberg’s recent run of poles, with Hamilton’s final Q3 advantage over the German an unusually large four tenths of a second.

The triple world champion, who is bidding to become the first driver since Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s to secure a hat-trick of consecutive wins at Monza, was almost half-a-second faster than his sole title rival.

The defending three-time champion, seeking to complete a hat-trick of Italian wins with his 50th career victory, clocked the fastest lap by almost four-tenths of a second as the two “silver arrows” dominated again at the Autodromo Nazionale.

Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, for Williams, and Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo filled the third row.

“I don’t know what I would have been like at 18, but I would have made lots of mistakes”.

Rosberg’s countryman Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari will start third, followed by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

“Really happy with qualifying, especially when you take into account how things were for us this morning”, Wehrlein said.

Going into tomorrow’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, it looks like we’re in for fine weather with peak temperatures hovering around 87 degrees F (31 degrees C).

With Ferrari only qualifying two tenths of a second down on Mercedes at this race previous year, Vettel said it highlighted how well the world champion team has done to stay at the front of the pack.

Behind the usual big-hitters, there was impressive work from the Haas duo of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, both into the top 10 and safely into Q2.

“Particularly that last lap felt incredible”.

Hamilton, when asked about Juan Manuel Fangio, who just might have been the greatest F1 driver, replied: “What a privilege to be mentioned in the same sentence as Fangio. I just see a young, talented kid who seems to have an enormous amount of raw talent”.

Wehrlein’s team mate Esteban Ocon failed to set a time after his auto broke down at the start of qualifying.

Esteban Ocon’s Manor auto stopped at the first chicane in Q1 and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault was again all over the track, as both were eliminated early on. His team-mate Fernando Alonso was 17th in the order.

However, one potential concern for Hamilton heading into the race could be a flat-spot he picked up on his soft tyres en-route to topping Q2.