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GP Week : Issue 227
QUALIFYING FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2015 53 LAPS ROUND 12/19 << Last Race – Belgium Two Weeks Ago 1 Next Race – Singapore >> Two Weeks’ Time FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA 2015 QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION 1 – Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes stand on the brink of a number of qualifying records. For Hamilton, this was his 49th career pole, and 7th in a row, 1 short of Ayrton Senna’s all-time record set in 1988-89. It was also the 23rd consecutive pole for Mercedes AMG, putting them 1 behind the all-time record streak of Williams, from their dominant 1992-93 period. Furthermore, Hamilton is now only 19 behind Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole record. 2 – In contrast, Kimi Raikkonen is back on the front row for the first time since the 2013 Chinese GP for Lotus. His last appearance here for Ferrari came in Monaco back in 2009. He outqualified Sebastian Vettel for only the 3rd time this year, but with Vettel in 3rd place, it means there are 2 Ferraris in the top-3 for the first time since the 2013 Malaysia GP. It should be added that Vettel’s win in Hungary also came from 3rd on the grid. 3 – Using the previous spec Mercedes engine, Nico Rosberg hasn’t been outside the top-3 since China 2014, 27 races ago, but he’s never had a history of good qualifying here (this is only his 2nd top-4 start here). In contrast, Felipe Massa has qualified in the top-5 on every appearance at Monza since he first joined Ferrari back in 2006. This is the 5th time this season that both Williams have been in the top-6 on the grid. 4 – Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean have best-ever starts at Monza this weekend, with Perez topping the speed trap at 354.6km/h (220.3mph). Perez finished on the podium here for Sauber in 2012 from 12th on the grid, while Grosjean was on the podium at Spa two weeks ago from 9th on the grid. Behind them, Nico Hulkenberg reached Q3 for the first time in 3 races, despite running out of fuel at one stage. Penalties to other drivers mean Pastor Maldonado has a first-ever top-10 start at Monza. 5 – Felipe Nasr was outqualified by Marcus Ericsson for the 4th race running, and the Swede is now tied at 6-6 in the season head-to-head. Despite that, Ericsson will start behind him, as a result of blocking Hulkenberg in Q1. Behind him, and almost by default, Marussia have both cars in the top-14 on the grid for the first time in team history, either as Marussia or as Virgin (2010-11). The only time any Marussia has been higher than Will Stevens is this weekend was when Jules Bianchi qualified 12th in the wet at Silverstone last year. 6 – Mclaren have now seen both cars eliminated in Q1 6 times this season, with Fernando Alonso 16.6km/h (10.3mph) slower than Sergio Perez’ best trap speed. All of the Honda and Renault-powered cars received penalties, although in the case of Red Bull they failed to reach Q3 with any car for the first time since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen was also eliminated in Q1 for the first time in his career. Nothing about the Italian Grand Prix up to that point had been positive for either Red Bull or Toro Rosso. Carlos Sainz found the gravel at the Parabolica in opening practice while Verstappen dropped a wheel off in second practice to find the kitty litter at the Ascari chicane. Neither Ricciardo nor Daniil Kvyat had shown any real pace, the weekend living up to the expectation that it would be the toughest of the season for the Renault powered cars. Still, for all four cars to start behind both Manors and both McLarens must have come as a particularly rude awakening. Two silly mistakes cost Marcus Ericsson a stronger starting spot. He’d made it into the final phase of qualifying but had baulked Nico Hulkenberg in the first session and was demoted three places. It was an open and shut case really, and while the argument stands that both drivers progressed so in the grand scheme of things the baulk proved meaningless, to the letter of the rules it was a deser ved penalty. Still, it took the total grid penalties to 11, split between seven cars. 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> ITALY PARTNERS: