Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to pole position at Italian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton took his eleventh pole position of the season at the Italian Grand Prix as Ferrari managed to split the two Mercedes with Kimi Raikkonen second and Sebastian Vettel third on the grid.

Hamilton set the fastest time of the weekend at Monza with a 1:23.397 to fend off Raikkonen's best effort of 1:23.631. It was the Finn's best qualifying position of the season and he managed to beat team-mate Vettel on his final attempt as the two Ferrari's lapped Monza in formation to the delight of the home crowd.

Nico Rosberg, who had to revert to his old-spec engine from Spa ahead of qualifying, could only manage fourth place and was 0.406s off team-mate Hamilton, who had the benefit of the updated Monza-spec engine. Felipe Massa, who set the fastest first sector of all, finished the session fifth ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Force India's Sergio Perez. Romain Grosjean was eighth in the highest-placed Lotus with Nico Hulkenberg ninth following an engine problem in Q3 after his first attempt. Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top ten with an impressive performance in the Sauber but dropped to 12th after receiving a penalty for blocking Nico Hulkenberg in Q2.

Pastor Maldonado missed out on a spot in the top ten by just 0.015s and was the only driver using a Mercedes power unit not to make Q3. He will line up on the grid ahead of Felipe Nasr before penalties for engine changes start to kick in among the Renault- and Honda-powered drivers.

Although the grid has not yet been confirmed by the stewards, Will Stevens is expected to be promoted to 13th ahead of Manor team-mate Roberto Merhi, McLaren's Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, who initially qualified 13th, Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, who had a combined penalty of 50-places for two engine replacements in one day, and Verstappen last who failed to set a time.