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Ricciardo stunned by ‘chaotic’ F1 madness

Lewis Hamilton will once again start from the front row at the Italian Grand Prix after the speediest lap in F1 history.Hamilton overtook his teammate Valtteri Bottas, both of whom beat the track record but the six-time world champion pulled off another stunner, averaging 264km/h (164m/h) in his final lap.Watch the 2020 Formula One™ Heineken…

Lewis Hamilton will once again start from the front row at the Italian Grand Prix after the speediest lap in F1 history.

Hamilton overtook his teammate Valtteri Bottas, both of whom beat the track record but the six-time world champion pulled off another stunner, averaging 264km/h (164m/h) in his final lap.

Watch the 2020 Formula One™ Heineken Italian GP LIVE on KAYO. Every practice, qualifying session and race LIVE. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was the best of the rest and will start from third on the grid with Aussie Daniel Ricciardo only able to secure seventh spot.

Max Verstappen was kept off the second row of the grid, qualifying behind Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and just ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.

“I’ve been feeling very strong since the start of qualifying,” Sainz said after the performance. “I managed to go through only with one set with a very strong lap in Q1 and since then it was just chipping away to try and put that 19.6 on the board, which I knew would give me top five.

“The last lap I nearly messed up. I had a big moment in Lesmo 1 and I nearly lost it and since then on I had to drive like this and I’m actually shaking a bit because in Ascari I had to really go for it.

“I thought the Renaults were going to be quicker this weekend, but this lap helped.”

Sainz was clearly happy with his lap but may have some concerns when he goes to Ferrari next year with Charles Leclerc qualifying 13th and Sebastian Vettel in 17th.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ricciardo said the team “hoped and expected more” going into qualifying.

“Once Q1 started, I think we readjusted our expectations,” he said. “I think we lost a tenth and everyone found a tenth so it was going to be tricky. Even Q2 was tight and then on that last lap in Q2 I went off so I thought I was done but then the first lap held on. And then the Q3 lap was decent considering the struggles we were having. Bit of a chaotic session, Q1 was wild, it was nuts.”

He then agreed with Jenson Button who called it “madness”.

Ricciardo also said the tow, that all the drivers were looking for “can be a bit overrated”.

“I mean I messed up without a tow,” he laughed.

“We made it kind of in the end. I’m not sure the team is jumping around after quali but I’m confident we can give them a bit more to cheer for tomorrow.”

It was Vettel’s sixth Q1 exit with Ferrari but his first on pace alone, as his final season with the Prancing Horse goes from bad to worse.

It was 1984 that two Ferraris last started out of the top 10 in qualifying and the first time a Ferrari driver will start outside the top 15 at Monza since Giancarlo Baghetti in 1966.

The predicted “nightmare” from last years’ event played out in the two qualifying sessions with the desperation to get the slipstream once again wreaking havoc.

While there was no crashes, several drivers exceeded track limits and had their times wiped, with Q1 particularly crazy.

In scenes that were more reminiscent of a race than qualifying, the expected chaos transpired from Q1 with all the drivers coming out in a group and getting stuck behind each other.

Sky Sports’ Karun Chandhok called it “a complete mess” with all the drivers compromised on the lap.

Alfa Romeo’s Kiki Raikkonen luckily made it through to Q2 after getting stuck behind Renault’s Esteban Ocon.

“He’s blocking me all the time, this idiot,” Raikkonen said of the clash.

Williams’ George Russell, who was eliminated, was stuck further back and said over team radio, “F*** me boys, what are we playing at? We need to be the ones capitalising on these f*** ups, not being the ones f***ing up”.

But the big early elimination was Vettel’s Ferrari set to start from 17th on the grid after getting stuck.

“What a mess,” a clearly frustrated Vettel said. “Why did the Alfas have to overtake everybody?”

It’s hardly the qualifying he would have liked in his last qualifying at Ferrari’s home track at Monza.

In Q2, Daniel Ricciardo went out by himself on the final lap looking to push the pace as the chaos behind him unfolded.

But an oversteer error saw Ricciardo, who was in ninth in Q2, exceed track limits. Luckily for the Australian, he wasn’t punished by the mistake as he held his position going into Q3.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

Row 1: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

Row 2: Carlos Sainz (McLaren) – Sergio Perez (Racing Point)

Row 3: Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – Lando Norris (McLaren)

Row 4: Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) – Lance Stroll (Racing Point)

Row 5: Alexander Albon (Red Bull) – Pierre Gasly (AlfaTauri)

Row 6: Daniil Kvyat (AlfaTauri) – Esteban Ocon (Renault)

Row 7: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

Row 8: Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – Romain Grosjean (Haas)

Row 9: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

Row 10: George Russell (Williams) – Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

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