Could this be one of the moments that decides the 2016 Formula 1 title? Defending champ and standings leader Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest time at qualifying in Monza by half a second over rival Nico Rosberg.
Half a second isn’t a very long time in most areas of life, but in Formula 1 racing it’s a virtual eternity. And that was the margin by which Lewis Hamilton beat out his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the qualifying for the fourteenth grand prix of the season.
The two best enemies will start side by side in the front row, but the British driver was the only one happy with Saturday’s results on the Monza circuit. Hamilton has now won pole position five times at the Italian Grand Prix, equaling a record set by F1 legends Juan Manuel Fangio and Ayrton Senna.
“I feel very proud and honoured to be up amongst Fangio and Senna, incredible drivers, and I never thought in a million years my name would be mentioned in the same breath as them,” Hamilton said after qualifying. “I came with my A game today. Particularly that last lap felt incredible.”
Hamilton goes into Sunday’s race with a nine-point lead over Rosberg, who was tight lipped after his humbling in qualifying.
“He did some good laps and that was it,” the German said of Hamilton. “I was just not quick enough.”
Rosberg’s countryman Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari will start third, followed by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas of Williams and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth fastest in qualifying.