It is a career 36th pole position for Lewis Hamilton as the title battle resumes in Italy. Teammate and Championship leader Nico Rosberg qualified in second place to join Hamilton on the front row, 0.274 seconds behind. The Williams pair of Valteri Bottas and Felipe Massa took the second row and likely to be battling for the podium tomorrow. The McLaren's took the third row with the Magnussen qualifying ahead of Jenson Button.
Most drivers went for long stints in the opening session as the tyres took a while to get up to temperature at Monza. Mercedes were also able to fix the gearbox issues that plagued Nico Rosberg in Free Practice 3 meaning he lost most of the session for final preparation for qualifying.
Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg set the pace in Q1 with Lewis Hamilton setting a fastest time of 1:25.363. But the Williams drivers running very close to the Mercedes team showing it won't be a dominant display for them today.
The Lotus drivers were the big casualties in the opening session with Grosjean finished in 18th place and teammate Maldonado in 17th and being warned not to change gear late on due to an expected gearbox issue. Kobayashi did well to finish in 19th on a weekend where his drive is under threat but finished nearly a second faster than teammate Marcus Ericssion.
The Mercedes power for the works team and in the Williams suddenly flick the switch and are clearly the two cars to be in this weekend with the Williams of Felipe Massa a clear half-second quicker than the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
But with three minute to go the midfield pack were so close together that just four-tenths separated the grid positions from 7th to 14th. Fristratingly for the tifosi, it was Kimi Raikkonen who was the big name unable to make it to Q3, finishing in 12th place overall. Kvyat did well to finish in 11th, but will receive a 10-place penalty for using a sixth engine part – the first driver to receive such a penalty this year.