Italian GP 2023


Qualifying Report - Sainz takes Monza pole

Carlos Sainz, Italian GP 2023
© Ferrari

By Peter Habicht

Carlos Sainz took pole position for Ferrari by 0.013s from the Red Bull-Honda of Max Verstappen in front of an energized home crowd at Monza.

Polesitter Sainz said afterward, "All three [of us] went for it, we were on the limit and in that last lap and I knew I had some lap time to come in Ascari and Parabolica. It worked well because I really pushed hard in that last lap."

Race stewards had put both Ferrari drivers under investigation earlier for driving too slowly in preparation for their hot laps but took no further action after the session.

Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari will start third, and Mercedes driver George Russell will start alongside him in fourth, ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Alex Albon put together another solid qualifying weekend for Williams to finish sixth, with McLaren's Oscar Piastri seventh and Lewis Hamilton, whose car struggled with rear grip, will start eighth. Lando Norris will start alongside Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso in ninth and tenth respectively.

Farther back, Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson finished just ahead of Haas' Nico Hulkenberg, Alfa's Valtteri Bottas, and Williams' Logan Sargeant.

Lawson who was 0.164s behind his teammate Tsunoda in only his second-ever Grand Prix qualifying session said, "It's a good position to be starting [from], with both cars so close I'm sure one of us can score points."

Next up was the Alfa Romeo of Guanyu Zhou as well as a surprise elimination of both Alpines, with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon in 17th and 18th. Ocon's car sustained damage after a high-speed trip through some runoff gravel, damaging his floor and his chances with just minutes to improve his time in the opening qualifying round.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen was second to last, trailed by Aston's Lance Stroll, who has had limited seat time this weekend following a mandated run for rooking Felipe Drugovich on Friday and fuel issues with his car.

Will Ferrari take their home race? Team principal Fred Vasseur said, "The long stints we did yesterday went pretty well, but Max is always a bit more performant on Sunday than on Saturday but let's see. We have two cars in the top three."

Tomorrow's race start is at 3p local time.