Italian Grand Prix Qualifying Results: Hamilton By 0.5

Lewis Hamilton during practice for the U.S. Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Lewis Hamilton during practice for the U.S. Grand Prix. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton returned to his usual impressive form during qualifying for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix as he topped the charts.

Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton resumed his form at Saturday qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, but only took pole by a thin margin.

More from Formula One

The three-time titleholder drove dominantly but it almost wasn’t enough. Hamilton edged out his teammate Nico Rosberg during Saturday qualifying by just 0.5 seconds.

Doing so meant he completed a qualifying hat trick at Monza, posting the quickest times in Q1, Q2 and the quickest of Q3.

After Italian Grand Prix qualifying was complete Hamilton declared that he came to Italy focused on nothing but adding another victory to his already historic total.

“I have a very strong feeling and came with my ‘A’ game today and particularly that last lap, it felt incredible,” he said. “It is such a great track and it has got such a great crowd. A big thank-you to all the people that have come out, but what this team has achieved, as race by race I continue to say, is just phenomenal.

“We are so fortunate to be driving for this team and to be representing them and to be driving a car as it was today, I got it right in the sweet spot and was able to do an exceptional time with it.”

While his performance was impressive, it wasn’t perfect. Hamilton locked his tires during a Q2 run resulting in a flatspot on the compound he will begin Sunday’s race on. Should the tire be damaged enough, he will be permitted to swap them out for a similar compound, but he doesn’t suspect it will be much of an issue.

“I didn’t really damage the tires,” he insisted. “I just had a small lock-up into Turn 1…I had the pace and so went back out and I was actually up, but I just lost it in the last corner. But the flat spot is minimal, you can’t really feel it. I don’t think it is going to be a problem.”

Watch the complete Italian Grand Prix qualifying session below:

Two drivers were qualifying in front of their home crowd. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished just three-tenths behind Rosberg to finish P3, with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen trailing just behind him to make it an all-Scuderia second row Sunday.

Further back in the field Williams’ Valtteri Bottas scored an impressive fifth place after edging out Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo by a mere 0.001s.

Riccardo’s teammate Max Verstappen claimed eighth in the race, just ahead of the pair of Force India cars driven by Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.

After making the first appearance in Q3 in Haas team history, Esteban Gutierrez – still in search of his first points of the Formula One – powered his machine to a tenth-place finish. Teammate Romain Grosjean qualified the second Haas car P12, but will be forced to serve a five-place grid penalty Sunday for the changing of a gearbox after FP3.

The Italian Grand Prix airs Sunday, Sep. 4 at 4:30 a.m. PT/7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.