Italian F1 Grand Prix 2016 Qualifying: Saturday's Results, Times, Final Grid

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2016

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg drives during the third practice session at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 3, 2016 ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix. / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took pole position in Saturday qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix, comfortably beating his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

After coasting to top spot in final practice in the morning, Hamilton excelled in the afternoon, too, posting a mark of one minute, 21.135 seconds in the final part of qualifying. Rosberg will start alongside his team-mate on the front row, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will begin in third.

Here’s how the grid will shape up on Sunday at Monza and a look back at another absorbing day on the Formula One calendar.


Qualifying Recap

Here is a look at the standings after Saturday's qualifying and how the drivers will line up for the upcoming race, per the Formula One Twitter feed:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION: (END OF Q3) HAM utterly dominant #Quali #ItalianGP 🇮🇹 #F1 https://t.co/JmlNsCY8vF

Hamilton put down an early marker in Q1, as he was more than six-tenths of a second ahead of Rosberg. Elsewhere, Esteban Ocon lost power and was eliminated, while the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat was the most eye-catching elimination first up. Per ThePitCrewOnline, he was far from pleased:

ThePitCrewOnline © @PitCrew_Online

Expletives from Daniil Kvyat suggest that he's mildly annoyed about his final corner #ItalianGP

In second qualifying session, there were some intriguing tyre changes from the drivers, with Mercedes using the slower soft compound so they can start the race on them. Despite this seeming disadvantage, both Hamilton and Rosberg easily made their way into Q3, with the former again a little quicker.

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Massa was unable to make it into the last 10.
Massa was unable to make it into the last 10.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

Williams' Felipe Massa was the biggest name to miss out on the top 10 shootout, while Esteban Gutierrez did superbly to push his Haas up into seventh at the end of Q7.

Meanwhile, Manor's Pascal Wehrlein did a wonderful job to post the 14th-fastest time, per the team's official Twitter feed:

Manor Racing @ManorRacing

P14 Q2 👊. Belter of a job @PWehrlein, ahead of BUT, SAI, KVY, NAS, ERI, PAL, & sadly, his teammate OCO, whose car stopped him on track.

In Q3, it was a familiar story, as Hamilton again eked out time around this pulsating lap, moving around three-tenths ahead of his team-mate after the first runs. On the second runs, the Brit extended his advantage further, finishing almost half a second up on Rosberg.

Meanwhile, Ferrari locked out the second row, with Vettel just ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen after a brilliant final lap.

With his lead at the top of the standings now 19 points after Rosberg’s win in Spa, Hamilton will be delighted to have dominated in the buildup to this race.

Hamilton was supreme in qualifying.
Hamilton was supreme in qualifying.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

In recent races, he’s had the advantage off the line on his team-mate, too. Should he make a strong getaway on Sunday, then it’s difficult to see anyone, including Rosberg, reeling in the world champion, who has won at the Cathedral of Speed on the last two occasions.

The more intriguing battle looks set to be further back in the field between Ferrari and Red Bull. The tifosi will be keen to see a strong performance from the Scuderia and they’ve certainly showed the pace over one lap. Converting that into a solid race strategy has proven problematic for Vettel and Raikkonen recently, though.


FP3 Recap

Here are the standings from the final practice session, per the Formula One Twitter feed:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF #FP3) #ItalianGP 🇮🇹 #F1 https://t.co/Y78RypyQSi

The session got off to a disappointing start for Haas driver Romain Grosjean, as an error from him triggered a virtual safety car. The Frenchman lost balance through the Ascari chicane and spun into the gravel trap.

As noted by F1 journalist Will Buxton, given there are only a few sections of gravel in that particular part of the circuit, Grosjean was a bit unlucky to see his session ended:

Will Buxton @wbuxtonofficial

Nice bit of parking by Grosjean up at Ascari. Unfortunate to get beached.

Early in the stint Hamilton had the edge on his team-mate. Rosberg made an error on his first hot lap, while on the second he was held up temporarily by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

"What on earth was that?" the unhappy German also asked as he was blocked by Red Bull's Verstappen on a fast lap, per Autosport Live.

Vettel was able to split the two Mercedes drivers early on in his Ferrari, although he was using a quicker compound.

Hamilton had the edge on Rosberg in FP3.
Hamilton had the edge on Rosberg in FP3.GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Once the Mercedes men put on the supersoft tyres, they moved well clear of the home team. And again it was Hamilton who set a blistering pace, posting a mark of one minute, 22.008 seconds, almost four-tenths of a second faster than Rosberg.

Given the searing speed showcased by their drivers, the Mercedes Twitter feed was already looking forward to qualifying later in the day:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

MEGA LAPS: No doubt about it, #Quali is going to be awesome later... #ItalianGP #FP3 #F1

Once again, the Ferraris showcased decent qualifying pace on Saturday morning, although they were around a second down on the time set by Hamilton. Raikkonen trailed Vettel in fourth in the session.

Meanwhile, Red Bull were content to work on long runs and will be confident of making up the deficit on the Scuderia come Sunday, regardless of how qualifying pans out; Ricciardo and Verstappen were in seventh and eighth, respectively, in FP3.

Williams' duo of Bottas and Massa also showed some encouraging pace in the morning, as they ended the session in fifth and sixth, respectively.


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