Lewis and Valtteri qualify P3 and P4 at Monza...
- Despite early rain showers, bright sunshine dried out the track in time for the third and final practice session.
- Lewis finished FP3 in second place, with his 1:20.590 being just 0.081s slower than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Valtteri was fourth with a 1:21.112.
- Both drivers progressed through to the top 10 shoot-out and set their quickest Q2 time on the SuperSofts, which is the tyre Lewis and Valtteri will start the race on.
- Lewis held onto provisional pole after the opening runs, but despite finding time on his final attempt, he was shuffled back to P3 with a 1:19.294.
- Valtteri also improved on his last lap to secure P4 with a 1:19.656, locking out the second row for the team.
What Did We Learn?
"We felt that Ferrari had a slight advantage going into qualifying but we were determined that we wouldn't make it easy for them and Lewis put together some really strong laps and came very close to beating Vettel's time," explained Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin.
"It's disappointing not to have a car on the front row, but we don't quite have the pace on a single lap here and need to accept that we just weren't quick enough.
"Valtteri hasn't been as comfortable as Lewis with the car in braking and this is a track where you need to trust the car on the big stops however, he's made good progress through the sessions today and still starts in a position where we can attack and pressure the Ferraris ahead.
"It's normally an exciting race here and if we are not under pressure from behind, it opens up some interesting opportunities on strategy so we'll be working through the various options tonight to understand what will give us the best chance of winning tomorrow."
What We’re Saying
Lewis: "That was an exciting Qualifying session! We've improved the car overnight and I'm really happy with where we were today. I'm really proud of my guys for pushing this hard - we've squeezed absolutely everything out of the car today.
"Going into the second run of Q3, I kind of knew that the Ferraris might just be able to pull out some extra bit of time, but I think second place might have been possible today. I lost maybe half a tenth in the last corner and that's the difference between third and second.
"We've got to fight hard tomorrow. The long run pace of the Ferraris looked quicker than ours, so it's not going to be easy, that's for sure. The start will hopefully create an opportunity for us.
"I've got to study hard tonight to figure out a way how I can get in front of at least one of the Ferraris on the first lap. It's great that Valtteri is right behind me, so we can really apply the pressure on the red cars."
Valtteri: "The entire day was pretty difficult for me. We made some set-up changes for FP3; the car was better in the corners afterwards, but we lost performance under braking and it just became very easy to lock up the wheels.
"Obviously, on this high-speed track you need to be able to trust your brakes; unfortunately, I was never really able to do that. Compared to FP3, the car felt a bit better in Qualifying, but still not quite there.
"I made a mistake going into Turn 1 on the first lap in Q3 and after that it was difficult to really get the corner right in the second run. But this was only Qualifying - this weekend is not over, the race is tomorrow and we will try everything to put the Ferraris under pressure and challenge them.
"We'll see what we can do strategy-wise and I think the first lap is going to be interesting as we might be able to get a bit of a tow-effect into Turn 1."
Toto: "That was a really close Qualifying session - but we came out just on the wrong side of things in the final run, after taking provisional pole early in Q3. Congratulations to Ferrari: they have done a very good job to improve their package and they had a little bit more than us today when we laid the cards on the table at the end of Q3.
"It was a tense session, looking for the right kind of tow to get the benefit down the straights, and there was a bit of gamesmanship as well to spice things up, which is normal when things are so close and the slipstream brings an advantage.
"Lewis put in two strong laps in Q3, right on the limit and even improving on his final run, but just missing out on the front row by a few hundredths. For Valtteri, it has been a trickier weekend and he has not felt as comfortable with the car, which is reflected in his position today.
"For tomorrow, perhaps starting P3 and P4 is not the worst thing in the world, with the powerful slipstream at this track. It's clear that we need to attack flat out - and that's what we intend to do."