Formula 1

F1: Leclerc takes pole at Italy in bizarre final Qualifying session

Charles Leclerc took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after a bizarre finish in the third qualifying session.

All drivers, apart from Leclerc and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, got stuck in traffic at the end of Q3 and failed to improve on their second runs.

The result meant that Leclerc’s time of 1m19.307s was fast enough to put him ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in second place.

Before qualifying the stewards had given the drivers a minimum ‘slow-lap’ time to obey to in order to avoid traffic build up, and they have now confirmed that the last flying lap incident is under investigation.

Valtteri Bottas was just 0.008s shy of Hamilton’s time in third place, while Sebastian Vettel ended the session fourth.

Renault put on a really strong showing after initially expecting to struggle with Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg ending up fifth and sixth.

Carlos Sainz Jr was seventh, with Alex Albon, the Racing Point of Lance Stroll and Kim Raikkonen rounding out the top ten, with the latter three not setting a time due to impending penalties and Raikkonen’s crash on his first flying lap.

Antonio Giovinazzi just missed out on Q3, ending up 11th, ahead of the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Daniil Kvyat was 13th fastest, while the McLaren of Lando Norris was 14th after a difficult session.

Pierre Gasly ended up 15th, just 0.057s behind the McLaren of Norris.

Romain Grosjean was 16th in his Haas, ahead of Sergio Perez, who caused a red flag in Q1 after a power issue left him stranded on the side of the Curve Grande.

George Russell and Robert Kubica qualified 18th and 19th, while Max Verstappen was the only driver not to set a time.

The Dutchman was due to start at the back of the field in any event, after changing engines, however, when he went to set a lap at the end of Q1 he suffered a power failure, and was unable to complete a lap.

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