Italian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton secured his 69th pole position to break the all-time Formula One pole positions record at a wet Monza circuit.
Having equalled Michael Schumacher’s record at the previous round in Belgium, Hamilton’s back-to-back pole positions have seen him emulate the seven-time champion.
At the end of a heavily-delayed qualifying session, the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo fell over one second adrift of Hamilton.
However, both Red Bulls were hit with big grid penalties prior to the weekend, meaning they start towards the back of the grid.
As a result, Williams’ Lance Stroll will become the youngest-ever front-row starter after finishing the qualifying hour in fourth place, ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Valtteri Bottas finished the session as the sixth-fastest driver, with the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel unable to climb higher than seventh and eighth respectively.
The second Williams of Felipe Massa ended Q3 in ninth place ahead of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.
Sergio Perez (Force India) and Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) narrowly missed out on a Q3 place, whilst Fernando Alonso – who also has grid penalties – finished ahead of the two Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz.
Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Jolyon Palmer (Renault), Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein (both Sauber) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) failed to get out of Q1.
The first part of qualifying was red-flagged after only a few minutes after Romain Grosjean crashed heavily in the very wet conditions.
The Haas driver aquaplaned on the start-finish straight and was unable to prevent the VF-17 from hitting the barrier. There was over a two-hour delay before the cars were permitted to continue the session.