Hamilton takes record-breaking 69th F1 pole amid treacherous conditions at Monza
Posted By: Editor   |  02 Sep 2017   |  4:57 pm GMT  |  149 comments

Lewis Hamilton took a record 69th career pole position for the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix after a long delay due to torrential rain on a thoroughly drenched Monza surface. Hamilton also broke the record for most poles at Monza with his fifth at the historic circuit and a Mercedes will start on the front row for the 150th time in F1.

Max Verstappen took second but he takes a 20-place grid penalty for a new turbocharger on top of his existing 15-place penalty. Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo (third) has been penalised 25 places, a further five-place drop from yesterday, for a new gearbox.

As a result, Lance Stroll will start on the front row for Williams having qualified fourth fastest with Esteban Ocon on the second row ahead of Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes-powered top four. Stroll will also become the youngest-ever F1 driver to start on the front row on Sunday.

Ferrari’s torrid Q3 led Kimi Raikkonen to qualify seventh and Kimi Raikkonen eighth as the Tifosi left Monza disappointed on a soaked Saturday of F1, but Red Bull’s grid penalties will also push them up the grid in what is expected to be a dry Sunday race.

Q1 was red flagged with 13 minutes remaining as Romain Grosjean spun at high speed on the pit straight having aquaplaned – he came to a stop on the inside of the first chicane.

“Not much to say: in a straight line, and next thing you know you’re facing the wall at more than 300kph,” said Grosjean.

“I just think the conditions weren’t good enough for us to go out there.

“We shouldn’t have gone out at all and I’m pretty straightforward on that,” maintained the Haas racer.

Q1 resumed after a delay of two hours and 40 minutes but the rainfall showed no signs of ceasing.


Wets were duly equipped from the get-go as FP3 itself was washed out with Williams’ Felipe Massa fastest. Only seven cars completed timed laps before FP3 was cancelled on Saturday morning.

With five minutes of Q1 left, drivers started to equip intermediates, Valtteri Bottas included. The Finn set a fastest Q1 time of 1m35.716 seconds to pip Mercedes team-mate Hamilton by 0.293s.

Sebastian Vettel finished third, behind Hamilton, and 1.482s off the pace while Red Bull’s Verstappen finished fourth.

Williams’ Stroll ended Q1 fifth fastest with a time of 1m37.653s ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Kevin Magnussen was eliminated by seven tenths in 16th place, behind Carlos Sainz Jr. This marked the ninth time Haas has lost a car in Q1 in 2017.

Also eliminated were Jolyon Palmer, both Saubers and Haas counterpart Grosjean who spun nearly three hours earlier.

Neither Sauber has progressed from Q1 since the Azerbaijan GP and Palmer has failed to outqualify his team-mate so far this season.


Hamilton went quickest with seven minutes remaining having set a time of 1m36.009s as the intermediates took a number of laps to heat up and grip the surface.

He then improved to a time of 1m34.660s on his final flying lap to consolidate his position at the top of Q2, 0.736s ahead of Bottas.

Max Verstappen was uneasy on intermediates but he overtook Vettel to finish third. Williams rookie Stroll produced another astonishing lap to finish fifth again ahead of Ferrari’s Raikkonen.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne finished ninth fastest at the expense of Sergio Perez, who finished 11th, just 0.002s behind team-mate Ocon who narrowly made it into Q3.

Along with Perez, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Alonso and both Toro Rossos were eliminated. The Renault duo and Sainz receive significant grid penalties for the race.

Hulkenberg has a 10-place grid drop for a new MGU-H and Palmer has 15-place drop. Alonso (35 places) and Sainz (10 places) also get pushed down the grid for Sunday’s race.


The rain picked up again at the end of Q2 and wets were equipped by all for the final qualifying session, led briefly by the Red Bulls which were eventually eclipsed by a determined Hamilton.

Verstappen found a pocket of clear air to produce a lap of 1m36.702s but Hamilton denied him pole position (and the accolade of youngest polesitter at Monza) having set a time of 1m35.554s on his final flying lap.

Ricciardo took third, seven tenths behind his team-mate but grid penalties push both towards the rear of the grid.

William’s Stroll continued his pace to finish fourth, 1.478s off the top spot but ahead of fifth-place Ocon; both youngsters staged a coup as adverse conditions seriously tested the veterans around them.

The Ferraris looked a handful for Vettel and Raikkonen as both wrestled their cars around the circuit only for Vettel to finish eighth behind team-mate Raikkonen.

Felipe Massa finished ninth, 1.219s behind team-mate Stroll while McLaren’s Vandoorne rounded out the top 10.

Since 2000, pole position at Monza has been more statistically significant than at Monaco as 13 of the last 17 Italian GP winners have come from pole, compared to 10 at Monaco.

Hamilton will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of the season come Sunday’s race.

Have your say on qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix in the comment section below.

Starting grid:







Lewis Hamilton




Lance Stroll





Esteban Ocon

Force India




Valtteri Bottas





Kimi Raikkonen





Sebastian Vettel





Felipe Massa





Stoffel Vandoorne





Sergio Perez

Force India




Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso




Kevin Magnussen





Marcus Ericsson





Pascal Wehrlein





Max Verstappen

Red Bull




Nico Hulkenberg





Carlos Sainz Jr

Toro Rosso




Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull




Jolyon Palmer





Fernando Alonso





Romain Grosjean





Featured News in mercedes
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

hamilton was naughty in saying, mercedes power was better than ferrari power.


Not really he just told the truth that explains why he’s on pole most times and been unbeatable since 2014, he just told the truth. That explains his record braking run, the car not his unquestionable ability is what is getting the poles and wins. Senna used to win with an inferior engine and car, Hamilton was not able to do that while with MaClaren or 2013 with Merc.
Don’t get me wrong he is definitely one of the greats but the praises that have been laid upon him are not justified for now. I’m sick of watching the Fox sports with the volume off so I don’t have to listen to the Crofty and co babble on with a very biased view towards Hamilton they are embarrassing to listen to.


Is that the highest grid position for the Saubers this year, 12th & 13th ?


“Verstappen found a pocket of clear air” for his final lap time.
There’s a bit more to be said about this. In the final 4 minutes + extra time, conditions changed by the minute, sometimes half minute. Rain intensified at -4:30. At -3:30 when Verstappen was in his penultimate timed lap attempt, conditions in the Parabolica were so dismal that he could barely control the car. German RTL rated his saving skills with ’11 out of 10′ but any chance of a good sector 3 time was gone. The prediction came that more rain was to follow, but instead it steadied and the downpoor remained more or less at a constant tolerable level from then onwards. Crucial now became to what extent the Parabolica in particular would be swept clear of water once you got there in your final lap.
Of the top 3 qualifiers, Verstappen arrived first, in still pretty adverse conditions. All the more admirable his time. Ricciardo encountered better conditions already but could not beat Max’ time. Hamilton, on fresh tyres, had the best conditions everywhere, and in particular in the Parabolica.


3 September, 2067. Someone born in the 2030s just browsing through the record books of the long since obsolete F1:

 – youngest ever driver on the podium: L. Stroll, Canada (18), Baku 2017
 – youngest ever driver to start from front row: L. Stroll, Canada (18), Monza 2017

“Evidently this Stroll was clearly the best driver at that age. You cannot luck into multiple records just like that.”
Unfortunately you can. Stroll drove well yesterday but was never going to enter front row on merit, like Max did in Spa 2016. He didn’t finish quali 2nd or even 3rd. He came in 4th and was promoted to front row only by RB’s grid penalties. Especially bitter that this befell Max, the current record holder, precisely at this moment.
Like the front row record, Stroll holding the youngest podium finishing record is not deserved as well. At the very least it’s not representative, not reflecting his overall performance. Only Max Verstappen deserves to be holding these records. He was the best driver at 17 and got even better at 18. Before his win in Spain he was very close to a podium on several occasions, Stroll’s Baku was a one time fluke until further notice. Verstappen’s first podium was in fact Spain 2016. He was lucky: the two Mercs took each other out and Ricciardo was handed a strategy that turned out to be a losing one, but his race was way more deserving of a podium than Stroll’s race at Baku where half the field fell away. In addition, Max defended admirably against Kimi whereas Lance has never defended against any car and was pipped on the line by Bottas. There’s so much more: Verstappen impressed with dazzling overtakes and rain races, pure speed and world champions in superior cars had difficulty overtaking him. Hamilton: “I can’t get past this guy”, Rosberg chirped with pleasure and sheer relief when after 2 years he finally managed to overtake Verstappen just once. There was controversy too, regarding his defensive moves, but at least this was related to speed and determined driving. The only controversies surrounding Stroll have been his jerky steering wheel handling, non-awareness of other drivers’ proximity and rich background.

So how lucky can you get?
Well, I couldn’t sleep last night. What if… the unthinkable happens and Stroll actually goes on to win the race? He’s on P2, fewer lucky strikes required than in Baku. And with Max’ bad luck this time it will probably be Ric’s car that breaks down, taking one or two top cars with it in the process. Worse, in Max’ own pursuit for 7th or 8th he could be hit by Sainz, both of them taking out more top drivers clearing the way for Stroll.
It COULD happen, Stroll winning and becoming the youngest ever F1 race winner. Unbearable if only for the noisy positivistic posts Tornillo Amarillo would pepper this site with for years to come. (People apparently like non-argumentative posts, he gets likes by the bucketload.) But mostly and most importantly a freak win by Stroll would be intolerable because of the following record in the 2067 history files:

 – youngest ever race winner: L. Stroll, Canada (18), Monza 2017

I am less forgiving (to fate here, incidentally) than Max. My advice to him:
Do NOT go for an impressive overtaking race! It’ll only end in more misery. Instead… put an end to this jinx and bad luck once and for all by helping fate a little, much like great champions like Schumacher would do. Proceed as follows:
Pretend a malfunction at the starting line. Once clear of the field, complete your lap up to speed. Box. No, no error after all apparently… Wait till the field are about to end their 2nd lap (remember, you haven’t got much time until your engine blows up). By then, Stroll has already been overtaken by a handful of top drivers and will be in a little gap of his own. Be advised however that he will still be en route to his historic first win, as only you and I know! Now leave the pitlane and gently take him out in turn 1, much like Sainz did earlier this season. That will sweep away all your troubles, end the jinx and you will retain your most glamorous title of youngest ever F1 race winner! Stroll will probably even be grateful later in life.
Next, walk up to his car:
“Hey, Lance? Fancy seeing you in these parts. Are you allright?”
Stroll, friendly as ever: “Sure, guess so. You too?”
Then, much like after his collision with Sainz: “What happened? I never saw you. I was totally concentrating going way left in order to make the corner.”

[Note added in print. Feel free to react on my estimation of both drivers’ talents and performances. As for the dark scenario taking Stroll’s car out: that’s not serious, it’s just me coping with harsh reality by invoking sinister day dream scenarios. Rather like a satyrical columnist using extreme hyperbole.]


1.1 seconds clear of the field, 2.3 clear of his teammate, that’s clinching the all time pole record in some style.


Time for another rule change. If you race outside the track limits at the Olympics, you get disqualified. No questions asked. You’re out.

So why can’t drivers be disqualified or driving outside the track limits. Then they’d figure out how to stay inside them.


James, can you, please, ask FOM what’s going on with Live Timing, as well with times shown on TV. As you can see from the screen shot it has been all messed up, for the second race in the row now. In Spa I thought they had a glitch, but now it must have been something fundamentally flawed.
For example, Vettel is listed with faster time than Raikkonen, although he’s been positioned bellow as slower of the two. The same goes for Bottas, who has second fastest time listed, while being positioned sixth.
At some point FOM finally noticed the mess, so they just stopped showing the times on TV, but they are still listed all wrong on LIve Timing.


Remember Lewis at some point had to ask if he was massively down on a lap and his engineer told him to keep pushing?


Yes, JA, please pass on that i won’t be renewing my live timing subscription next year as its gone bunk!


It can be erratic – I’m using it here in the Monza press room. I had to go to the F1 broadcast centre to fix something the other day


The graphic shows the driver’s fastest time in the ENTIRE qualy now. Basically, it carries the lap time from one session to another, and if the earlier is faster, it gets displayed in place of the lap set in a later session. Personally, I don’t see the point.


Will check


And? What did they say? 🙂
Please let us know, since as you can see some people are subscribed to the service, which over the last few years became less than acceptable.


Times listed above are best times from all qualifying sessions combined, not just Q3, and since conditions were better in Q2, most drivers did their best times in Q2.
It’s a valid point it should only show Q3 times. (Or the most current session)


wow that many penalties :O , penalties for everyone ! ! ! , its actually an interest way to make the race more interesting…

will be great to see both RB coming from behind, hopefully Alo and Hul will do a couple good maneuvers, and Per as well… both Ferraris mixed in the middle, , and yeah will be really funny to see Stroll peeing himself at the start when everyone will try to pass him over lol…

tomorrow just add random rain and here and there…


Hamilton has more poles than Senna but Senna was more efficient qualifier (took his poles in lesser number of races) than Hamilton. So which driver is better driver? No matter what the answer is, Lewis’ achievement is remarkable of course.

Ferrari guys must be happy that today wasn’t the race day as they sucked big time in wet conditions. They must be dancing the rain away at the moment.


but the fia do not record efficient qualifying….no record of those.
the best was to compare them is to count the number of times each has been outstanding, repeatability and reproducibility. hamilton has broken more records and will break more records than anyone in history, the best we will ever see.


Ho hum… when it gets to this level of domination.


Was on a plane this morning, landed at Heathrow at 5pm and got a shock when I saw Stroll on the front row! Wow crazy session. Nice from Ocon too. Hamilton delivering as he pretty much always does in the wet. Surely now Mercedes must put everything behind him for the title. He’s made the decision easy for them. Shame for the red bull boys.


Look at those times! Lewis Hamilton absolutely creamed everyone! 2.3 seconds faster than his teammate!


Brilliant driving by Stroll, Ocon and Vandoorne showing once more how frustrating F1’s income inequality is.


As last week end an amazing drive from Hamilton. If this year Hamilton will win the WC will be because of him more than the car.
Ferrari were edgy to drive: their low drag package wasn’t as good as they hoped; Vettel particularly has not been at ease on the track. And Ferrari race tomorrow looks ominous. They start on third row and they will risk of ending up in an accident at the first chicane. Bottas is in front of them (Kimi I am sure not happy with that) and can easy cover Hamilton back (Vettel not happy with that). Plus they have to jump Stroll (relatively easy given the car and his inconsistency) and Ocon (not so easy) … The only thing that can go well with them if weather is good and hot; then Mercedes would be more in trouble as they tend overheating rear brakes (they had that problem on Friday) . But overall it looks like Hamilton will take Vettel spot on top of the WC2017 after this race.


silverstone, spa, monza. highest speed wind, whizzing passed grit teeth…


Well after the looong wait that turned out to be an entertaining qualifying session. Congrats to Lewis and the other drivers like Max, Daniel and Lance who did particularly good laps in the wet. A lot of hard work and concentration to get to where they ended up. It would be a huge shame if something untoward would happen to ruin all their effort.

Oh, wait. What’s that? Noooo!! Not again!


Congrats Hamilton on your 69th pole and certainly 4th WDC.

As a tifosi, very disappointed, but we knew we were punching above the limit since the season started. Mercs were just toying all along, as evidenced by the new engine at Spa to take care of the 1.2 L oil buring rule, not to mention a lot of helping hand from FIA.
Our new engine will be less in power, we are already looking at penalties late in the season for components to be changed, it is all over.
From now on, it is purely damage limitation until the end of season to salvage whatever pride is left after this qualifying fiasco at home.


Gutted to see Lewis take it away from Max at the end but man, he was never going to give that away was he. Fantastic lap, in control the entire session. Well done. A lot of positive and negative surprises down the field. Well done Stroll, again (!!) after Baku. Ocon: superb and well clear of Perez so hopefully no shunts. The Ferrari’s dissapointed massively. It will hopefully be a fun race tomorrow with a lot of fast-ish cars at the back.


stroll says ‘hush now’.


Please stop leaving dozens of comments on each post and feeling you can reply to everyone. It annoys others a lot

Please restrict yourself to two or three conversations max per post



Do you thing Stroll or L’Ocon will dive bomb LEW-LEW in the first chicane ? 🤔


And angry their engines manufacturer?
Not a chance.


Deweberis, you can only hope, and I thought we weren’t using derogatory and childish nick names on this site?


Exactly when “Debs does Vettel” gets his heckled up she seems to resort to nick names.
Sad Debra Deb Web feet , there’s no need for it !!


TimW… Meh…let Weberis have his fun. He needs something to keep his sanity after that reality check yesterday. Still…you wouldve thought he could be a little more inventive than LEW-LEW.


I see james couldn’t bring himself to say Vettel was 8th in qualifying ( in para 4)


Fans cheated of epic race start. Penalty system needs to change.


Kudos to Stroll! WOW, what a lap!
Mercedes Benz looking mighty in the hands of Hamilton.
As for Ferrari: The only thing that would excuse this performance today is if they set their cars up with minimum downforce for maximum top speed for the race tomorrow, to assist in overtaking. As we all know, points are handed out on Sunday.
Let’s wait and see..


Performance of the day stroll?? Amazing effort, the kid must now be proving doubters wrong.


69 poles enough said, i just wish schumacher was well enough to have greeted lewis after qualy to congratulate him

Lewis showed the grid the science off f1 today….the today senna/ schumi


as most know, everyone had dry settings, Ferarri did not get the temperature in the tires! Similar to others, it explains the reversals in the field.
Not bad Lewis, “a 69 in Italy” before the race!


…they were the days.


Stellar drive from Hamilton. I almost missed the qualifying as I was waiting and waiting then gave up and decided to check as I was heading out and it had just started. I was nail biting as I thought Max or Ric would get pole (forgetting their penalties) and Ham had only one lap and he nailed it! Big surprise from Ocon and Stroll as no one saw that coming. Loved Stroll interview where he said he just decided to get out there and have fun. Keep having fun son – you are going places. Regardless of what anyone says – Honda is improving. They are in the top 10 AGAIN. Better than what others with better engines and doing. Keep it up. Looking forward to the race. First lap will be a doozy.

Top Tags
SEARCH Mercedes