Hamilton masters soaked Monza for record-breaking 69th pole position

2017 Italian Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton surpassed Michael Schumacher as Formula One’s most successful qualifier of all time in a soaking wet session at Monza.

The Mercedes driver claimed his 69th career pole position after a commanding performance in a qualifying contest which was heavily delayed by rain.

The Red Bull drivers qualified second and third but will drop down the order due to penalties. That means Williams driver Lance Stroll will join Hamilton on the front row of the grid.


Despite the very wet conditions qualifying began on time. But within a few minutes the session was red-flagged after Romain Grosjean lost control of his car on the pit straight.

The Haas snapped out of control after hitting a patch of standing water on the straight. Grosjean’s car came to a stop approaching the Rettifilio chicane.

Nine drivers had set a time when the session was stopped. Lewis Hamilton had set the fastest time, his lap of 1’40.128 comparable to what drivers had done in the similarly wet morning practice session.

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The session resumed over two hours later with track conditions slightly better than they had been initially. One by one each of the drivers pitted to swap their full wet weather tyres for intermediates.

Fernando Alonso was the driver who started the trend, followed quickly by Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Vettel struggled on his subsequent laps, going off at Ascari and Rettifilio, and although he ended up third the two Mercedes drivers were faster by more than a second.

Kevin Magnussen also made an early switch to intermediates but failed to make it pay off and dropped out. He joined his team mate, the two Sauber drivers and Jolyon Palmer.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’40.489
17Jolyon PalmerRenault1’40.646
18Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’41.732
19Pascal WehrleinSauber-Ferrari1’41.875
20Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’43.355


Occasionally showers continued as Q2 began which prompted some drivers to switch back to full wets for the second session. But within a few laps the track conditions were improving again and most drivers took new sets of intermediates for their final runs.

The Mercedes drivers had switched to intermediates late in Q1 and re-used the same sets for the start of Q2. Once on fresh tyres they asserted themselves as usual, Hamilton on top by seven-tenths from his team mate, who had a similar gap back to Verstappen.

Vettel was fourth-fastest and separated from his team mate by Lance Stroll, who impressively put his Williams in fifth. Felipe Massa made the cut in the team’s other car while Stoffel Vandoorne got his McLaren in the top ten with his final run.

That knocked out Sergio Perez, who had been just two-thousandths of a second slower than team mate Esteban Ocon. Nico Hulkenberg, puzzled by his car’s handling on the intermediate tyres, also dropped out. The Toro Rosso pair joined them along with Alonso.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’37.582
12Nico HulkenbergRenault1’38.059
13Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’38.202
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’38.245
15Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’38.526


The rain returned once more as the pole position shoot-out began. The Mercedes drivers and Vettel gambled on intermediate tyres to begin with but were swiftly back into the pits to join the others on full wet weather tyres.

While this was going on the Red Bull pair were vying for pole position. Verstappen set the pace ahead of Ricciardo, but the two young drivers from Force India and Williams were also in the mix.

A series of consistently quick laps from Ocon put him in with a shout of the front row. But he made a mistake at the della Roggia chicane on his final lap and fell to fifth. His place was taken by Lance Stroll, who grabbed a valuable fourth position with his final run.

Hamilton headed the times initially on his full wet weather tyres but pitted for a fresh set with minutes to go. He had enough time for one final flying lap and he delivered, putting his Mercedes back on top by over a second.

The Red Bull drivers were next but their grid penalties means Stroll is promoted to the front row of the grid for the first time in his career. The Ferrari drivers struggled but will move up to the third row of the grid once penalties are applied.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’35.554
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’36.702
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’36.841
4Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’37.032
5Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’37.719
6Valtteri BottasMercedes1’37.833
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’37.987
8Sebastian VettelFerrari1’38.064
9Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’38.251
10Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’39.157

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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98 comments on “Hamilton masters soaked Monza for record-breaking 69th pole position”

  1. Well, finally. Not going to debate the delay, but we got there in the end. Hamilton a cut above (although must be nice in that car), Verstappen super strong, as is Ocon. And yours truly to take many, many servings of humble pie after that performance by Lance Stroll. Still remain utterly unconvinced, but this is a first step on the way to getting there.

    1. Even Maldo could do a great job occasionally….

    2. I like the way some fans like to put an asterisk to Hamilton’s achievements because of the car. By that logic- we may as well do the same for all the other great drivers. Vettel, Schumi, Senna, Prost- the list is endless. Heck, some were/are even undisputed number ones. I struggle to think of drivers who have won without a constructors winning car (best car). Oh hang on- look who’s also on that list too….

      Seriously. If people want a pure athlete’s sport perhaps they are more better suited to Athletics or Tennis. F1 has and always will be about the car. And the best drivers tend to drive for the best teams. End of.

      1. I was just talking about his car here today in the wet. Settle down.

        1. Ok…well were was Bottas then? Shouldn’t Bottas have placed in 2nd, by your logic?

          1. @medman
            Yes he should. And the fact he isn’t shows he’s not special. And that shows Hamilton’s terrible consistency by being outperformed by a B-grade driver numerous times this season.

        2. Hahostolze yeah Verstappen did well (although must be nice in that car though, best chassis in a power neutralised wet qualifying)

      2. Exactly. Hamilton is the master, in the wet or the dry. Any “fan” who doesn’t appreciate his brilliance and skill on track is a pure hater, simple and plain. You can question his personality, lifestyle, haircut, tattoos….whatever. You can question that with anybody. But there is no questioning he is a rare talent in F1.

      3. This is true of course. But Senna had Prost as a teammate when he was in the dominant car. Not Rosberg.

        That what’s makes it so difficult to compare. Schumacher had 2nd drivers only. Plus in other eras more team were competitive at the same time.

        I too think Lewis is one of the greatest drivers of F1 but the merc gave him a walk in 3 seasons and he screwed up one last year.

        1. Excuse you. Rosberg is a World champion who held his own against one of the best drivers. If you want to go down that road, Vettel was beaten by RIC, who as Lauda said, “was a nobody”.

          And if you look at Hamilton’s other team mates- Button and Alonso were both world champions and he compares very favourably with both.

          (I know the anti-Lewis brigade will bring up the outscoring statistic but we all know F1 seasons are scored individually. If that wasn’t the case, Hamilton would be a 4 time champ v Rosberg and Senna would only be a double world champion- because he was “outscored” by Prost).

          Every driver has the strengths and weaknesses- and this being sport- nobody and no team is unbeatable. Even Usain Bolt proved he is mortal after all.

          Only with Hamilton have I seen people who expect him to beat his team mates all of the time to be considered “descent”.

          As for Hamilton “screwing up” last season. I will agree- he didn’t get on top of the starts sooner. But comeon.

          Hamilton outqualified Rosberg 12-8 and beat him in the races 10-9.

          Granted you could say it still wasn’t enough to win Ham the title still and he should have “beat Rosberg even more” to make up for Malaysia and he had alot of missed opportunities.

          But the fact is that Malaysian GP retirement had a great influence on the championship- particularly when you consider Rosberg’s winning margin of 5 points.

          Don’t get me wrong- I am not taking anything away from ROS. He won given the hand he was dealt and as I said maybe Ham could have done more but comeon. To say he “screwed it up” is a bit harsh.

          1. If you look at the quality of Lewis and Rosberg, it’s a miracle Nico won a WDC. That’s more what I meant.

            Imho Lewis is one of the great and not only by nrs

        2. @anunaki Rosberg lucked into a WDC because no other teams were in the fight and Lewis was crippled by poor reliability, don’t get it twisted.

    3. I think the new harder tyres allow Hamilton to do his thing, his setup his driving style is so peculiar, quite iconic, kind of looks like he carries lots of understeer but that’s just his very smooth steering application. Not to take anything away from Stroll and Ocon both cars looked to be like running a wet setup.

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        2nd September 2017, 22:04

        @peartree Hamilton’s style is oversteer through and through. Vettel prefers understeer.

        1. @thegrapeunwashed No he’s not, Max and Dan are an oversteer style, Seb’s a V driver, Massa is an understeer.

          1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            4th September 2017, 9:32

            @peartree Here’s a Mark Hughes article where Paddy Lowe talks about Hamilton’s ability to handle oversteer on corner entry –

            As the driver carries some braking into the turn – a common technique in slow-medium speed corners as it helps keep the loads on the tyres more consistent and the car at a more aerodynamically stable attitude – a more rearward brake bias will tend to give the car less stability. The entry phase of the corner will have the rear of the car sliding more than with a more forward-biased set-up. Hamilton is typically more at ease with this than almost any other driver.

            “When we first ran Lewis in an F1 car at McLaren in a test, we could see from the traces there was a lot of instability in the car in the braking and corner entry phases – and I mean a lot,” says Lowe. “Enough that our then current race drivers [Raikkonen and Montoya] would have been bitching about it when they came in. But Lewis didn’t mention it. So we pushed him about it, asked him what the car was like on braking and corner entry and he just said, ’fine’.”

          2. @thegrapeunwashed I’m talking about reality not journalism… The quote even contradicts itself. To lunge into the braking zone you need to be comfortable with the rear sliding, which also means you need to set up the car in a way it doesn’t lose the rear, so the car needs to have understeer on it either mechanical or aero.
            It’s irrelevant really.

          3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            4th September 2017, 19:22

            @peartree Why should I trust your version of ‘reality’ rather Mark Hughes’, after all he’s perhaps the most respected journalist in F1 today? And why does your version of ‘reality’ trump Paddy Lowes first hand experience?

    4. What an awesome qualifying. Today I saw an absolute legend and three extremely impressive drivers. Hamilton (without a doubt the new F1 legend) and Verstappen, Stroll and Ocon.

      I doubted Stroll throughout the season so far, even with his podium finish, but you don’t get to be almost a second faster than a Force India in these conditions and only 2-3 tenths off of the Red Bulls without having talent. He might’ve had a long learning curve the first half of the season, but Stroll has managed to make a name for himself. I now truly believe his recent lacklustre results were due to the very bad car in dry conditions, as Massa was already pointing out.

      But man, what a mega lap from Lewis it was. 1.1 seconds faster than Verstappen. I honestly though Verstappen had pole position when Lewis had two significant corrections in parabolica, so what a positive shocker it was when he crossed the finish line! 10 out of 10 for this qualifying, well worth the wait.

      Too bad both RBR’s have grid penalties, so I still hope for a wet race, since Ferrari is nowhere on wet home turf. Even with the grid penalties I believe in these conditions both Red Bulls can make the podium while Lewis takes the win.

  2. Mega job by Hamilton, Stroll and Ocon! Qualifying was worth the wait!

  3. In the end a brilliant qualifying session that showcased what Formula 1 is all about, and confirmed (Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo) and revealed (Ocon, Stroll) some of the real talent on the grid.

    1. Still very unconvinced in stroll, but credit where credit is due and he had a flawless qually today. IMO he needs more mungral in him like ocon and ver and really push himself…

      Honestly think if he was against a Alonso or Hamilton it would be the end of him….

    2. I don’t believe were in any doubt on ocon’s quality

      1. There are a few. Funny they haven’t popped up in the comments today…

  4. The race would be truely epic tomorrow if it wasn’t for penaltys :( probably not for first cos Hamilton will walk this one,but the other two podium positions between the bulls, Ferrari, force India and Williams would be an awesome battle… sadly the ridiculous engine rules mean that we won’t see ver or Ric anywhere near that fight :(

  5. It’s nice to see that Vandoorne beat Alonso too in these conditions.

    1. Alonso did very minimal running.

    2. Wasn’t really a fair comparison, just like Spa wasn’t.

    3. Merseysidefella
      2nd September 2017, 17:56

      Alonso and the team deliberately choose not to try for Q3. He starts last and is his turn to help his teammate

      1. Vandoorne was quicker in Q1 as well. As he was in most FP’s and Q’s in both Monza and Spa and Silverstone. Fast tracks seem to suit him better than Alonso.

    4. Oh really? Alonso had only 1 lap, Vandoorne had 4-5 laps at least.

  6. Stroll, Ocon and Vandoorne the surprises of the field.

    1. Strolls first time driving an F1 car in the wet no less. Fair few servings of humble pie being passed around for that, myself included.

  7. Very fitting for the best qualifier of all time to claim the record breaking Lap by more than a second and more than two seconds faster than teammate. Mega Job Lewis. Also good job by RBR drivers, Stroll and Ocon.

  8. Amazing lap by Hamilton again. However, as the gap to Stroll is the 1.5 seconds you might expect, maybe he just performed on the normal level and everyone else failed :P

    Interesting to see that Williams has finally got their wet weather problems cured, and it looks like Ferrari has inherited those.

    And I hope F1 would do some more R&D towards running in the wet: why not try to create a proper monsoon tyre that could run in almost all conditions? Or then just decide that there’ll be no running in the wet.

    1. Fair comment about Ferrari inheriting Williams lack of wet weather prowess from the past few years but remember, the Hulk stuck it on pole a couple of years ago in similar conditions at Interlagos. And if I recall correctly the Williams was nowhere aside from that all year then just like now..

  9. What a lap from Mr Hamilton to suit the outright record.

    Special mention to the RB boys, Stroll and Ocon.

    As for the two Ferraris- well they have their work cut out tomorrow.

    Those Force Indias were up there on the Speed Traps off the top of my head.

    1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      2nd September 2017, 22:06

      Blazzz, Ferrari is so lucky the RB’s had penalties, otherwise Vettel probably wouldn’t make the podium tomorrow.

  10. That’s the way to do it, Lewis! I’m happy he took the record at during a session that was anything but straightforward or predictable. Incredible lap!

  11. On the wets Lewis was just better than anyone, although it was much closer on the intermediates.

    Masterful qualifying in very difficult conditions.

  12. Hamilton! Yes, he has the best car of the grid, but how he drives! Fantastic!
    Awesome also Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon!
    And rookie Vandoorne again better than double champion Alonso!
    And finally … what happened with Ferrari?

    1. Davide Valsechi much!

    2. Sure, Vandoorne is ahead; but Alonso didn’t push knowing that he was going to be penalized (it’s basically the same situation of a week ago, only with inverted roles). Apart from that, he has certainly did a great job. Making it into Q3 with that crappy McLaren-Honda isn’t easy. And i loved his save in Parabolica!

      IMHO he was the best along with Hamilton, Ocon and Stroll.

      1. Jorge, you forgot to mention that Verstappen beat Ricciardo again ;)

        1. Yes. Sorry.

          1. Hahaha :)
            Are you getting milder or just having an easy evening ;) ?

        2. Verstappen absolutely has the measure of Ricciardo in outright pace. In terms of racecraft I would put him slightly ahead also, slightly.

      2. Except Vandoorne also beat Alonso last week (in Q1; he didn’t set a time in Q2)

  13. I’ll wait until I’ll see Stroll actually being under pressure fighting with equal cars alongside him, to judge, as for nearly 3 years the Williams is fine in heavy power circuits. Not convinced yet as even Fisichella and Sutil had some great moments here. But very well done.

    But can we finally stop calling Bottas a contender? He was almost on Rosberg with his rain-skill level. 2,2s (or 1,5 without that last run) on Monza, even in the rain is ridiculous! I’ve said it numerous times already: He won’t win the championship this year. Nobody does in his first year.
    He is a fine driver but lacks the special edge in qualifying or in the race or in the rain – in fact his only achievement is that he is very reliable in his consistent lap times – and even had troubles with post-hungary Massa. I’m so fed up and done with hearing those delusional arguments of just backing Bottas because they detest Hamilton. It’s disgraceful.

    Fine, don’t like him but he is close to becoming a legend alongside Senna and Schumacher now so let’s all take our hats off with graze.

    1. @xiasitlo I agree. Bottas lacks the confidence and Toto has no interest in supporting Bottas over Hamilton so, he’ll only drive for Mercedes on 1 year deals, he’s career is over unless he can get a car between himself and Lewis, he needs to start that right from the beginning of 2018.

      1. Jumping the gun a bit there mate. He will learn and improve with Lewis as a teammate just like Rosberg did, his career is far from over.

    2. Although it is unlikely, I don’t like it when people say he won’t win it. You just can’t say he certainly won’t yet. He’s had one more retirement than Vettel and Hamilton. What if Vettel and Hamilton end up both having one more than him? Then if these retirements happened over the next 2 races (extremely unlikely) and Bottas wins one race and finished 2nd in the other, he will be in the lead of the championship by 2 points. He’s currently had 1 retirement this year and Hamilton and Vettel haven’t had any. Bottas has been better in his other qualifying sessions and this occasion isn’t enough to write him off the possibility of getting it just yet.

      And @peartree, it is ridiculous to say his career is over unless he starts performing better. He is more than good enough for another team to want him. Surely Williams would take him back over Massa if Mercedes dumped him which I don’t think they will. Unless you mean his Mercedes career. but if you did, you should maybe have made it a bit more clear.

      I think Bottas is easily doing a good enough job considering he is against a driver like Hamilton and is new to the team. It is also the first time in 3 years that this team hasn’t clearly been dominant over every other team. This makes Bottas’s results look worse than Rosbergs did in 2014 and 2015. But infact, if Mercedes had dominated this year, I am convinced he would be much closer to Hamilton in the points. It’s not like Hamilton doesn’t have his weak moments. His qualifying in Monaco was really poor and much worse than any of Bottas’s qualifying results. Bottas has had several weak moments, but he is doing enough for what the team want which is to help win the constructors championship. I think he will improve over time and will get closer to Hamilton. I hope he will race in 2018.

      1. Even if they have problems, i can’t see it happening.

        He is doing a great job, but not for a championship. He isn’t as competitive as Hamilton and Vettel, and not as reliable (even if this year hamilton’s been off on a couple of races) on the long run. His race at Spa for example, was just weak.

        He won’t be WDC and no one expected him to be. He is doing his part perfectly.

        1. His race at Spa wasn’t that bad was it. It wasn’t weak as a whole. He was slower to start with, but then had similar pace and hung around 6 to 8 second behind Hamilton. then in the 2nd stint, Bottas was often faster than Hamilton but overall equal. Same continued in the next stint. But it was the restart that let Bottas down and lots of the time this year, the Mercedes has been difficult to get close to the driver infront within 2 seconds. He kept catching up with Kimi, then falling back. He had the pace but it was just his restart that was the issue. I wouldn’t call it a weak race as a whole. He just had a slow first stint and a poor restart after the safety car. The rest of his race looked at leased reasonable. But yes, I can easily say Hamilton and Vettel are better. But I just don’t like it when people say it won’t happen as we can’t predict the future.

      2. @thegianthogweed

        A lot of well place thoughts but just this strikes me to oblivion;

        It is also the first time in 3 years that this team hasn’t clearly been dominant over every other team. This makes Bottas’s results look worse than Rosbergs did in 2014 and 2015.

        So Ricciardo getting universal praise for defeating and being able to out-qualify & out-race 4-time WDC Vettel in his first year at RB 2014 is just luck then and flattered too much because RB wasn’t in it’s own league? (tell that about the 2014 F1 Fanatic Driver of the year.. )?

        Or that same Rosberg that outqualifed Schumi (I’m taking quali as Schumi had some gremlins) 3 years in a row with a tally of 41 vs 17, right from the first season at Mercedes, was that quali score flattered too?

        Or back to superiors cars…. Hamilton equaling the first man to beat Schumi after becoming a record-breaking legend in his rookie F1 year? Was that flattered too?

        This is exactly what I mean.
        Nowhere I’m reading one line of pure praise for Hamilton. Just a ”Well done”.
        Everything is defending; ”the car is superior, it is his first year, Bottas? He’s doing well enough.”
        Ungraceful trend.

        1. I personally think Vettel just had a really poor season in 2014. But I also think Ricciardo was particularly impressive.

          1. Agree with every word, it is unlikely Bottas will win the WDC this year but he is a great talent and his time will come ….. I loved the coverage of Hamilton and Bottas on the PlayStation while they waited for the rain.

  14. mega job from Lewis: 1.2 s to the rest of the field, more than 2 seconds to his teammate and greatest pole-sitter in history (at least for what it concerns absolute numbers).

  15. LOL…here folks, lies Toto no nothing. A critter who has never won a thing in his life, but feels qualified and well within his rights to question multi-time world champions. Yikes. It is to laugh.

    1. @medman agreed. On a different subject, I hope none of the young guys drive into Lewis.

  16. Stroll just beat Verstappen to being the youngest front row starter ever, if he manages to show up tomorrow and despite the grid penalties for the Red Bull drivers. I still wasn’t quite convinced after Azerbaijan, but it almost seems to me that Stroll has been (s)trolling us all with his performances and he actually turns out to be a fine driver.

    1. Yep Max did it on his own, Lance did it after those lousy FIA grid penalties…. great effort!

      1. I think Strolls lap was a fair bit more impressive though. The Red Bull has been far better than the Williams virtually all year. Also, the Red Bull usually comes alive in the wet and so does Verstappen. Williams is usually terrible in the wet. And yet Stroll was barely 3 tenths slower than Verstappen. And Stroll is also often criticized for being one of the worst drivers on the grid while Verstappen is often praised for being one of the best wet weather drivers on the grid. IMO, I think Stroll’s lap stands out more than anyone else’s today.

        1. Spot on. Seing Hamilton and RBRs on top in wet was no suprise.

          Dragging a Williams to an effective front row position is much more impressive than anything else.

          Especially comming from a guy most of us criticized until Baku.

          Even bettet it was not down to lucky tire timing, drying track,… Just plain wet track and fast driving.

    2. Wasn’t verstappen younger when he drove his car to second place (not 4th) in the dry last year at Spa? Stroll qualified 4th, not second, but he indeed is storting from row 1, that is a fact.

      1. Verstappen was born in September 1997, Stroll October 1998. About a year and a month apart. Last years qualifying in Spa was on the 27th of August. That isn’t quite a month away. So I think @wessel-v1 is right in that Stroll is now the youngest driver to start the race on the front row.

        1. Could be, but maths is not my forté, it is close in age in Any case. But he hasn’t qualified front row now has he. He is just starting there. I,m a bit on the fence about it. Monza is a pure power track, not many curves. I think the mercs are all more to the front as they usually are, so still on a wet track the merc power seems to have come in to play, especially with the lack of curves.

          But it might just as well have been a totally awesome effort by Stroll (seeing where he started this year). And on Some level it also just is that. In Any case he has certainly improved by leaps, I am now willing to see him as an actual viable F1 driver. I dismissed him before and after the first few races.

  17. Cool showing by Hamilton, but say hello to a boring race tomorrow. Not sure I’ll even watch, qualifying basically decided the result.

    1. @saint-jay C’mon, there are many misplaced cars, and there are some on wet setups. Yes if Lewis survives the first chicane, he has the best chance to do so, Lewis and the Merc should be untouchable, he may even nurse his PU, but behind it’s potential chaos, you just know that Max is going to drive hard and over the limit add that to facing off some of the guys at the back, some that shouldn’t be in f1 like Romain and Mag probably all of them are going to do their bit to spread carbon around.

    2. @saint-jay, you watch a qualy session like that, and come away with that much of a negative point of view, maybe you WOULD be better cutting the grass tomorrow man.

  18. That was amazing lap by Hamilton. Great to see Stroll up there as well. Ferrari never had a chance for pole but p7 and p8?

  19. Lewis. . Simply the best! !
    Better than all the rest . . .

  20. Great job by Stroll – tie makes me really happy to be a Williams fan!! I’m trying to avoid going the “imagine what Alonso could have done in that car…” route, but I thought he was mega today. Composed, fast and consistent.

  21. A mixed up grid for the race, I’m so excited for the race tomorrow!

  22. Lewis, one of the greats, and a fine human being to boot. Beats Schu’s record without contractually impeading his team mate. Wins fair and square. Congrats

  23. The list of grid penalties is a joke. I stupidly got my hopes up when I saw the headlines this week where Brawn talked about getting rid of them, but then saw they want to wait until the next engine rule changes. Take away constructor points instead.

    1. It’s not as simple as that, unfortunately. That could kill off the smaller teams. Imagine the disappointment if they score points, only to have it totally undone by an engine change. Could be the difference between a team staying, or going.

      I really liked Brundle’s rough idea of the bigger teams having to donate the money to the smaller/new teams if they made an engine change. There’s obviously tons of gaps in that idea, but it’s a start.

    2. It’ll probably change but next year they are supposed to have just 3 power units and associated components for the whole season.

      It’s clearly unworkable at this time, they should have left it at 5 for a few years and perhaps award bonus points to the teams that use the least number of components.

  24. I’m absolutely gutted.

    I put £5 on a Red Bull being on pole after FP3, £225 returns……………………………………….. He didn’t even need to do the lap :(

    1. @ecwdanselby

      You sure this was going to pay off? I think poll was impossible because of the already known grid penalty. Finishing first in q3 is not enough, for poll you actually need to start from P1.

      The only way to make this happen was to apply grid penalties for the rest of the field.

    2. Due to engine penalties RBR would never start on pole tomorrow.

      Good job betkeeper.

      1. Grid penalties are applied after the session. I double-checked this before I made the bet. It’s based on the ‘qualifying result’, not necessarily the ‘starting position’ for the race, so yes, I would have won my bet if Lewis hadn’t had put that final lap in!

  25. Outstanding, Hamilton had to work for 69th pole and won it in style.

    Amazing what records could Hamilton bring home with more dominant years. Maybe even the big 91 or 7?

  26. Loving every bit of this, hammertime 69th pole, i think i saw an ayrton senna heritage there with the wet showing, absolutely superb last lap to taks pole by a mile i might say, amazing from louis

    1. +1. Lewis’ performance today was so reminiscent of the great age of F1 when Senna was racing.

  27. +1 :-)

  28. lol a bit quiet here, no?? Lewis Hamilton

  29. What a messy qualifying session was that!! some people has been saying Mercedes and Ferrari are evenly matched and Horse Power worth Monza Proved them wrong now all Mercedes powered cars are infront of Ferrari. Of course mastering the wet conditions was crucial. But It was rather down to the strength of Mercedes PU here in Monza

    1. Comparing cars is much much easier than comparing drivers. I don’t know how people say Ferrari and Mercedes are now evenly matched or Ferrari is the better race car. While Vettel is still struggling to qualify ahead of Hamilton. And while the WO8 still has straight line speed advantage. By comparing its both qualy and race pace performances of course no one can doubt that Ferrari is a better racer than qualifier but in qualy it doesn’t have maximum power and on race day it is better only in short tracks.

    And if Lewis suddenly loses pace some people think oh Ferrari are faster now and some dare to say Ferrari is the better race car. Forget those stupid comments the truth is Mercedes is still the fastest and the better car but in 2017 the gap is not as big as it was in the past few years. so it is not enough for Hamilton to dominate. Hamilton is almost as good as Vettel but he doesn’t have Vettel’s consistency that’s why Vettel is a little bit better racer than Hamilton and Hamilton is one of the best in qualifying. Now days drivers are not making very much of a difference except Alonso and Hulkenberg.

    To say Ferrari and Mercedes are evenly matched. Ferrari must have either good qualy pace or the same horse power as Mercedes. Then it’s ok to say it is down to the drivers. Otherwise Mercedes is the quickest car in all the following tracks except Singapore and may be Suzuka. I have watched Hamilton and Vettel for so many years. They are so evenly matched. But this year it’s more clear who’s got the edge in qualifying it’s Hamilton and who’s got better consistency it’s Vettel. Hamilton has got to do with strong qualifying and Vettel’s has got to do with consistency both in qualy and race day.

    I like both drivers but I would love to see Vettel crowned champion this year. Because so far he’s been a little better than Hamilton and his straight line superior Mercedes.

    2. Comparing drivers isn’t always very easy particularly when they are not driving the same machine.

    But there is one best way. But first we need to answer one question 1. What makes a driver the most complete driver?

    The answer is Qualy pace + Race pace = Complete driver

    Qualy pace, Qualy pace is just an indication that a driver is the quickest over one lap. and benefits to start from pole. The problem is it doesn’t tell the story about consistency because it is one off.

    Race pace, Race pace is the most important side of a complete driver because it tells us a lot about consistency. For now I’m just going to compare two drivers. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso

    Hamilton and Alonso are two of the best drivers on the grid. But they have two different qualities. Hamilton has got to do with very strong Qualy pace and average Race pace. Alonso has got to do with very strong Race pace and average Qualy pace. Who do you think comes out on top? It is a relief for Hamilton and Vettel that Alonso doesn’t have a very strong Qualy pace. But I still believe Alonso would beat Hamilton. particularly in a season like 2014,15,16 in the same car with Hamilton because the worst place Alonso would start is second. A lot of stupid people say Alonso is overrated. He is not if not he is underrated. I don’t know if it matters to a lot of people but now days it’s common praising drivers just because they are winning. Let me give you some facts 2014,15,16 Hamilton and Rosberg were winning because they were the class of the field. No, they were just comfortably sharing pole positions and grandprix wins every weekend. But Senna in fulerton was almost about to lap 2 place Prost in maclaren Hamilton was a grate champion before 2014 but since 2014 for me he just holds good statistics than quality.

    I know my comment will spark a lot of controversy but I always argue based on facts. I believe Hamilton and Rosberg have done nothing special to deserve victory every weekend. it was down to their Mercedes’s unlimited superiority. I like Hamilton and congratulations to him he equalled the 68 pole record but He should not forget he is not the best particulary on Race day. Hamilton is almost on par with Vettel but Alonso is just the toughest of all on Race day

    But I think it is fair to say Hamilton is one of the best qualifiers in the sport. But lacks a bit of Vettel’s consistency and Alonoso’s formidabilty.

    We should not post our comments based on (my favorite driver is the best driver) attitude we should see the facts and praise drivers for the right reasons.


    1. Some reasonable points here but it seems like you suffer the same affliction as some others do in forgetting that Lewis beat Alonso in his rookie year. Think about that for a minute… say the words out loud ‘Hamilton best Alonso in his rookie year’ (yes, we know he was well prepared but still a rookie). To then suggest that Lewis wouldn’t rise to an Alonso challenge (and be victorious) throughout a season is to ignore history and skew your logic.

      1. Marian Gri (@)
        3rd September 2017, 9:30

        And HAM got beaten by Button. So Button owns HAM, ALO etc etc! Impossible! Statistics do not favour BUT at all. What’s the conclusion: the difference in performance of the drivers is mostly due to competition material than drivers themselves. For example, in my opinion, HAM is faster than VET… overall… with like 0.15sec. So, if HAM outqualifies VET by 0.25sec, from 0.15 to 0.25 it’s the car. That’s why I keep saying Mercedes still fastest car. The way qualifying unfolded this season, HAM outqualified VET this season by 0.5sec overall. Only yesterday HAM outqualified VET by more than 2sec. I hardly believe HAM is faster than VET by 0.5sec overall only thanks to his driving skills. If so, it’s a miracle VET is a 4-time WDC by now.

        1. Button did not beat Ham on Performance but on reliability and crashing out in banzai moves in one season, he also didn’t out qualify him AND Lewis beat him over 3 seasons comprehensively. Lewis beat Alonso on performance. Know the facts!

    2. @S.Amanuel, Vettel says Ferrari has the faster car, Hamilton agrees, that’s good enough for me. Bot, Rai and Vet had very similar pace, so the cars are close.

      PS Alonso has said on more than one occasion that Hamilton is better than Vettel, a fact that you failed to include.

    3. You try pretending the grid is based on engine performance, but then you neglect to remember that Verstappen and Ricciardo were actually faster than all those Mercedes engines besides the one which had Hamilton in front.

      Also, Vettel was annihilated by Ricciardo. I’m not talking about a (huge) difference in points, but the simple fact that Ricciardo was faster and better in just about every race.

      Where is Vettel’s consistency if he could follow Hamilton in earlier sessions and in Q3 he’s just nowhere near him. Just like Bottas though.

  30. Pure class from Lewis. Vettel’s first real poor performance this year but I still expect him to make it to the podium tomorrow

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