Buenos Aires, September 2 (NA) — Spanish driver Carlos Sainz achieved pole position for Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix, followed by Formula One world championship leader Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, who will seek in the race his tenth consecutive victory.
The Iberian achieved a best time of one minute and 20.294 seconds at the “Temple of Speed” in Monza, 0.013 faster than his Dutch rival, while the second Ferrari, driven by Charles Leclerc, will start third.
Just 0.067 seconds separated the top three drivers on a sunny afternoon at Monza, with Ferrari’s “tifosi” – who have had little to celebrate this season – roaring with the red cars as they battled the dominant Red Bull.
The pole was Ferrari’s third in a season in which Red Bull has won all 13 races to date, but it is Sainz’s first since Austin, Texas, last October.
During the last session there was an investigation by the stewards into the Ferrari pair for going too slow in the first phase, but the threat was put to rest when the crowd went wild and the officials decided to take no further action.
Sainz said he got goosebumps crossing the finish line and enjoyed the reaction of the fans on his slowdown lap after an intense session.
“It’s incredible. Wherever we go there is only noise, support and encouragement, and it’s the best feeling you can have as a driver,” said the Spaniard. “Tomorrow I’ll give everything to keep first place. A good start, a good first stint and let’s see if we can fight with Max. Normally in the long runs he’s faster, but I’m going to give it my all.”
Verstappen affirmed that this Sunday they will try to “win the race”. “Normally we have a faster car, but we’re going to enjoy today and then focus on tomorrow,” he added.
George Russell will start fourth for Mercedes, followed by Verstappen’s teammate and closest rival, Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez.
Alex Albon qualified sixth in his Williams, ahead of Oscar Piastri’s McLaren, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and Lando Norris’ McLaren.
Verstappen had been fastest in the first two stages of qualifying, after Sainz led practice, but failed to do so a third time.
NA 09-02-23 14:56:23
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