Ferrari were unable to catch the two Mercedes’ this morning, as Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets, with teammate Nico Rosberg nearly four tenths behind, and a full 0.9s ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished in 3rd, ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
There were early struggles for Haas’ Romain Grosjean, as just 15 minutes into the session, with only four laps completed, he was stuck in the gravel at the Ascari chicane. The car was beached, and unable to get it out on track, the car had to be carried away, leaving the Frenchman out of the session. This spectacle also brought out the Virtual Safety Car.
It was unknown why Grosjean went off track, perhaps carrying too much speed into the corner and lost grip. He reported that he had “lost the gearbox”, before getting out of his VF-16.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen came under yet more criticism, this time from Rosberg, as the young Dutchman blocked him on a slow lap, whilst Rosberg was on a fast lap, forcing the German to brake, abandoning the lap.
Rosberg, irritated, voiced his concerns to the team over the radio, hoping for an investigation into it, however one did not take place.
There was another similar incident later in the session, where Renault’s Kevin Magnussen blocked Verstappen, forcing the Dutchman off the track, to which he also voiced his complaints to the team via radio. Like the first incident, this one was not looked into either.
During the latter stages of the session, Renault’s Jolyon Palmer ran wide onto the gravel at Parabolica, but unlike Grosjean, was able to return to the track.
Current Championship leader, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, will start the 2016 Italian Grand Prix in pole position, after qualifying almost half a second faster than teammate Nico Rosberg.
Ferrari, even with their new engine upgrades, were unable to catch the Silver Arrow’s, leaving drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on the second row in 4th and 5th.
Unexpectedly, it was not the Red Bull that locked out the next row. It was Williams’ Valtteri Bottas who qualified 5th, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was unfortunately bumped from Q2 by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, leaving the Russian in 17th place, however is bumped up to 16th, following Grosjean’s penalty.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean is set for a 10-place grid penalty following an unscheduled gearbox change due to his beached car in FP3, after reporting gearbox issues.
Manor’s Esteban Ocon’s car had problems yet again as it did in FP2, leaving him stuck at the first chicane on his out lap, meaning that he could not set a lap time, leaving him stuck at the rear of the grid.