Ferrari's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr drives during the qualifying session, ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit, in Monza on September 2, 2023. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
Italian Grand Prix: qualifying results
Find out who was fastest in qualifying at the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix
Carlos Sainz took pole position for Ferrari ahead of Max Verstappen at the Formula 1 2023 Italian Grand Prix.
For the second time this season, the 20 drivers on track tested a new tyre rule for qualifying: all drivers had to use hard tyres in Q1, medium tyres in Q2, and soft tyres in Q3.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the first driver to set a time within the 1:22s range, although he was quickly overtaken on the timing sheets by Max Verstappen.
Track limits came into play right away, however, with Verstappen the first to have a lap time deleted for exceeding them.
At the end of the first set of flying laps, Williams Racing’s Alex Albon was on top with a 1:22.123. Then, with nine minutes to go, Sergio Perez went fastest, before Verstappen went three-tenths faster than that, both Red Bulls now in the 1:21s range.
Drivers continued to improve on their second attempts, the AlphaTauri pair of Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson going fifth and seventh fastest respectively. The Ferraris then went third and fourth behind the Red Bulls, establishing their speed for the weekend.
In the final seconds, as drivers started their last laps in the first part of qualifying, Magnussen was the driver at risk. Both Alpines, Oscar Piastri, Valtteri Bottas, and Lance Stroll were all in the bottom five and in danger of being eliminated.
Bottas and Piastri both improved to make it into the top 15, as Logan Sargeant set the fastest Sector 1 of anyone yet and jumped to fifth on the timing sheets.
Also making a surprise improvement was Lawson, finishing 12th and making it to the second round in just his second Formula 1 qualifying. Stroll was unable to improve along with the Alpines, and Zhou Guanyu and Magnussen were the other Q1 casualties.
Eliminated in Q1:
16. Zhou Guanyu 17. Pierre Gasly 18. Esteban Ocon 19. Kevin Magnussen 20. Lance Stroll
The Red Bulls cars were once again first out and first to set flying laps in the second part of qualifying at Monza. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz quickly jumped them both, setting a 1:20.991, but the early success was hampered by the news that both he and his teammate Charles Leclerc would be investigated after the session for failing to follow the race director’s instruction regarding maximum lap time in the buildup lap.
After the first laps were done, Sainz remained on top, followed by Verstappen and Leclerc with Albon sitting fourth.
Lewis Hamilton, complaining of low grip, was one of the drivers in danger of elimination over halfway through the session.
With no time left on the clock and everyone out to do their final laps, Albon didn’t improve but remained fast enough to stay out of the bottom five. Sargeant also didn’t improve after a mistake at the Parabolica, knocking him out of Q2. Leclerc went fastest as Hamilton also jumped out of the elimination zone, while neither AlphaTauri managed to make it into the top ten.
In the final part of qualifying, the fastest ten drivers of the day (two Red Bulls, two Ferraris, two McLarens, two Mercedes, a Williams, and an Aston Martin) all came out on soft tyres to see who would take pole position.
Once more the Red Bulls were first out and first fastest but the Ferraris quickly stole first and second on the timing sheets, Sainz taking provisional pole with a 1:20.532.
With five minutes to go, everyone was back in the pits to regroup before the final runs. But they were all back out quickly enough, eager to see if anyone could top the Ferrari’s top time.
The battle was clear between Verstappen and the Ferraris, as the three drivers traded purple sectors throughout their final laps. Leclerc, first across the line, went fastest with 1:20.361.
But Verstappen was next, snatching provisional pole from the Monegasque driver by just o.o54s. Sainz then went 0.013s faster, just barely grabbing pole from the championship leader.
Race control quickly decided that no further action would be taken against Ferrari for the alleged infraction in Q1, cementing Sainz’s pole position.
Top ten starting:
1. Carlos Sainz 2. Max Verstappen 3. Charles Leclerc 4. George Russell 5. Sergio Perez 6. Alex Albon 7. Oscar Piastri 8. Lewis Hamilton 9. Lando Norris 10. Fernando Alonso
Feature Image Credit: MARCO BERTORELLO – Getty Images
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