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Leclerc triggers Tifosi delight with stunning pole lap
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Leclerc triggers Tifosi delight with stunning pole lap

Leclerc triggers Tifosi delight with stunning pole lap

Leclerc triggers Tifosi delight with stunning pole lap

Leclerc triggers Tifosi delight with stunning pole lap

Charles Leclerc sent Ferrari's home support into raptures with a stunning pole lap in Italian Grand Prix qualifying.

The Monégasque set a lap time of a one minute 20.161secs, 0.145s faster than Max Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver will drop five places on the grid, though that will be reduced with third-placed Carlos Sainz and fourth-quickest Sergio Perez also facing drops.

Leclerc had been trailing team-mate Sainz throughout the afternoon, with the battle for the fastest time in qualifying seemingly between the Spaniard and Verstappen.

Yet Leclerc's final lap was scintillating and proved too strong for the championship leader to top.

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth quickest but will drop places with his penalty, promoting George Russell from sixth.

The Mercedes driver will start alongside Leclerc on the front row, such is the penalty disruption.

Lando Norris led McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, with the Australian's performance much improved from previous qualifying failings and, crucially, both outqualifying the Alpine's in the race for fourth in the constructors' standings.

Verstappen will likely split the McLaren duo when the final starting grid is published ahead of the race.

The race's 2020 winner Pierre Gasly finished ninth, with Fernando Alonso in 10th.

De Vries impresses as Ocon misses out

Esteban Ocon was the surprise elimination in Q2, missing out to potential new team-mate Gasly by just 0.068s.

The Alpine driver will start ahead of Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas, with both drivers taking grid penalties for the race.

They will promote Nyck de Vries from 13th after the Dutch driver impressed in his F1 qualifying debut.

The Mercedes reserve driver spent FP1 data gathering for Aston Martin and missed half of FP3 whilst Williams set his car up - de Vries standing in for Alex Albon who has been diagnosed with appendicitis.

De Vries had looked set to challenge for a place in Q3 before he locked his rear brakes at the de la Roggia chicane on his final attempt - eventually missing out by four-tenths.

Zhou Guanyu was 14th quickest whilst Yuki Tsunoda - who will start at the back of the grid - failed to set a lap time.

Vettel shocked by latest elimination

Sebastian Vettel has endured a torrid season of qualifying driving the Aston Martin.

The German last visited Q3 back in Azerbaijan but in recent times has struggled to break into Q2.

The latest disappointment came after issues with reports of a component flapping on the side of his AMR22, curtailing his first effort of the session.

But at the circuit where the four-time champion clinched his first pole position and win in F1, there was to be no fairytale in his last qualifying at Monza.

When notified of his elimination, Vettel shouted "no way" down his team radio - a common theme of his Saturday experiences this season.

Nicholas Latifi finished 16th quickest ahead of Vettel, with both drivers within a tenth of qualifying for the next stage.

Lance Stroll couldn't make an extremely skinny rear wing work in the second Aston Martin, whilst Haas brought up the rear with a horrific session that saw Kevin Magnussen stripped of his two fastest lap times for track limit abuses at the first Lesmo and Mick Schumacher throw two laps away with lock-ups.

With nine drivers taking grid penalties, the grid will look wildly different to the finishing results in qualifying.

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