Italian Grand Prix: Qualifying Recap

Event:  Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix (Round 14 of 21)

Date:  Saturday, Sept. 1

Location:  Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Layout:  5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit

Weather:  Partly sunny

Air Temps:  19.5-21.1 degrees Celsius (67.1-70 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps:  27.9-34.1 degrees Celsius (82.2-93.4 degrees Fahrenheit)

Pole Winner: Kimi Räikkönen of Scuderia Ferrari (1:19.119 – new track record and the all-time fastest lap in Formula One history)

Result:  Romain Grosjean qualified 6th / Kevin Magnussen qualified 11th

●  Lasts 18 minutes, with all 20 drivers participating

●  Fastest 15 drivers advance to Q2

Magnussen:  9th quick (1:21.783), advanced to Q2

Grosjean:  15th quick (1:21.887), advanced to Q2

Fastest Driver:  Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:20.542)

Cutoff:  15th-quick Romain Grosjean of Haas F1 Team (1:21.887)

●  Lasts 15 minutes, featuring the 15 fastest drivers from Q1

●  Fastest 10 drivers advance to Q3

Grosjean:  6th quick (1:21.239), advanced to Q3

Magnussen:  11th quick (1:21.669)

Fastest Driver:  Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:19.629)

Cutoff:  10th-quick Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso (1:21.667)

●  Lasts 12 minutes, featuring the 10 fastest drivers from Q2, all battling for the pole

Grosjean:  6th quick (1:20.936)

Pole Winner:  Kimi Räikkönen of Scuderia Ferrari (1:19.119)

Second:  Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:19.280)

Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen qualified sixth and 11th, respectively, for the Italian Grand Prix Sunday at Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Magnussen set the ninth-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:21.783 around the 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile), 11-turn circuit. Grosjean was 15th quickest with a lap of 1:21.887. Only the top-15 drivers move on to Q2.

In Q2, Grosjean earned the sixth-fastest time with a lap of 1:21.239 to make the top-10 cutoff and advance to Q3. Magnussen ended up just outside the top-10 in 11th with a best lap of 1:21.669 after Fernando Alonso opted to place his McLaren alongside Magnussen into turn one and then into Magnussen’s line off the corner, effectively ruining both driver’s final shots at advancing into Q3.

Grosjean qualified a best-of-the-rest sixth in Q3 behind the big three teams of Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull with a lap of 1:20.936. It was Grosjean’s seventh straight trip to Q3, a streak that began June 23 at the French Grand Prix.

Both Grosjean and Magnussen ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire throughout qualifying.

Taking the pole for the Italian Grand Prix was Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen. His fast lap of 1:19.119 set a new track qualifying record as well as the all-time fastest lap in Formula One history, bettering the 14-year-old mark held by Juan Pablo Montoya when he drove his Williams around Monza in 1:19.525 during practice for the 2004 Italian Grand Prix. Räikkönen beat his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, for the pole by .161 of a second to give Scuderia Ferrari a front-row lockout at its home race. It was Räikkönen’s 18th career Formula One pole, but his first since the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, and it was his second pole at Monza, with the last one coming 12 years ago in the 2006 Italian Grand Prix. At age 38, Räikkönen is the oldest polesitter since Nigel Mansell in 1994, who was 41 when he took his 32nd and final career Formula One pole in the Australian Grand Prix.

Before Grosjean, Magnussen and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. Both Grosjean and Magnussen began the session with an installation lap on the White medium tire before switching to the Red supersoft compound.

Magnussen ran 15 laps and set the sixth-fastest time with a 1:22.011 on his 11th tour. Grosjean tallied 16 laps and earned his best time on his 11th lap – a 1:22.357 that placed him 10th overall.

Quickest in FP3 was Vettel, whose fast lap of 1:20.509 was .081 of a second better than his nearest pursuer and championship combatant, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

“It was good. It was a bit on the limit in Q1. It didn’t quite work – the margin to get through wasn’t as big as we wanted, but then Q2 was pretty good. Q3 was nice, everyone improved, but I knew it was going to be super tight. I thought we’d have a bit more margin at the end. I was surprised to see the Renault so fast, and I expected the Force India to be up there. I’m very happy to be starting P6 and, of course, there’s some work to be done for tomorrow, but I think we’ve got a good race pace, as well. There’s a super tight midfield battle going on and we love it.”

“We absolutely should’ve been in Q3 today. We clearly had the pace in the car. It’s Monza, and everything’s about slipstreaming and track position. I did my best lap in Q2 with absolutely no slipstream. I was the first car to get on track, therefore I was all by myself, and the lap I had was one hundredth of a second from getting me into Q3. So, if that was on my first attempt, I’m sure there was more in it. Unfortunately, on my last run in Q2 I was overtaken by Alonso, and I couldn’t then get a lap on that second set of tires, which was crucial. It’s disappointing, but we’ll still have a good race and aim to score points again.”

“It was probably our most intense qualifying session of the year. We almost missed out to get into Q2. Just one thousandths made it happen. Then we had the incident in Q2 between Kevin and Alonso. There was a little bit of emotion from everybody because there was no need for it. It was an unnecessary situation that Kevin got dropped out by two thousandths. It was a few thousandths up and down and then he was out, but it all came good again when Romain qualified sixth and did most of it in the last sector. So, we start sixth and 11th, which is not perfect, because I think we could’ve been sixth and seventh. Anyway, we’ll look to get as many points as we can tomorrow and close the gap to Renault.”

This article contains: Italian Grand Prix