Hamilton points finger at Ferrari after Monza Q3 chaos
Lewis Hamilton suggested that Ferrari purposefully meant to batch together the final group of cars during Q3 for the Italian Grand Prix, so that Mercedes would not be able to put together a better final pole lap.
The final qualifying session in Monza was a farce, as teams waited and waited until the very last moment to head out on the track for their final lap in an attempt to take advantage of slipstreams behind other drivers.
In the end, Renault headed out first, with everyone else following. Due to the traffic, only Carlos Sainz of McLaren was able to reach the starting line in time to post a lap, meaning that everyone else had to settle for their previous time.
It worked out for Ferrari as Charles Leclerc had the fastest initial time, meaning they took pole.
Hamilton reckons the Scuderia “timed out” Mercedes in those final minutes.
“Honestly, I have to be grateful I'm on the front row. We get to have a fight with the Ferraris tomorrow, we split them. It's a good position for us to be in,” he said after qualifying.
“It's definitely a bit of an anti-climax that we couldn't all go out and do that last final lap that's one of the most exciting ones.
“It's crazy with these timings now we have, the system we have. Everyone backs up. Everyone tries to get in position.
“They timed us out. They basically timed us out. Get pole position in the first run and just time everyone out.”
The Brit admits this strategy can be precarious, but reckons it can be useful for Mercedes as they attempt to bridge the pace gap to Ferrari.
“Definitely, on the out lap it is dangerous for us all,” Hamilton responded when asked if it felt odd staying behind other drivers.
“There are people slowing down, you don't know who is alongside you. It is definitely a risky business out there.
“It's kind of enjoyable at the same time. But, of course, we're down on the Ferraris on the straight lines, so we in particular need it. Others also do. This new wing, the drag is much bigger this year.
“Honestly, just to be here on the front row. We can give them a good fight tomorrow.”
Hamilton will start second on the grid at Monza, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas in behind in third.
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