Carlos Sainz stuns Monza as Max Verstappen bites back at Lewis Hamilton – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc after qualifying at Monza. F1 news

The top three drivers pose together after Carlos Sainz takes pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

Qualifying Saturday was full of F1 news to come from the paddock at Monza, and it was a day of jubilation for Ferrari at their home race.

Of course, they will be hoping to convert it into the race victory on Sunday, but here’s a little look at the biggest talking points to come from the day at the Italian Grand Prix.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Carlos Sainz sends Monza into raptures with pole position

Ferrari have a pole position at Monza through Carlos Sainz, who backed up his practice form by pipping Max Verstappen to pole by just 0.013s on Saturday.

Charles Leclerc will start third as just 0.067s separated the top three in qualifying, with a day that Ferrari fans will remember – though it won’t count for much unless the Scuderia can bring home a good result on Sunday.

George Russell and Sergio Perez round out the top five on the grid, but there’s a big day to come at the Temple of Speed after an intriguing qualifying session.

Read more: Italian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz takes stunning pole for Ferrari at Monza

Max Verstappen dubs Lewis Hamilton ‘jealous’ after team-mate comments

Max Verstappen was presented with Lewis Hamilton’s comments about the calibre of his team-mates to date, in which the seven-time World Champion believes Verstappen has not faced the same level of challenge within the garage as him just yet.

But when responding to it, Verstappen was dismissive of what his 2021 title rival had to say, instead believing he may be a little envious of what he is currently experiencing at the front of Formula 1.

“Maybe he’s a little jealous of my current success,” Verstappen said in a roundtable with Dutch media at Monza.

“This kind of statement… he possibly thinks he’s winning something with that, but it makes no difference to me.

“I think Mercedes have a very hard time dealing with losing, after all these years of winning so much. At some point, you have to be realistic and then you have to be able to appreciate what other teams are doing.

Read more: Max Verstappen hits back at ‘jealous’ Lewis Hamilton after team-mate claims

Exclusive: Jacques Villeneuve speaks to

1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve sat down with our own Thomas Maher and discussed the big news of the paddock as both Mercedes drivers announced they will be staying with the team until the end of 2025.

In a wide-ranging chat, Hamilton’s quest for an eighth title was a subject, and if asked if chasing an unprecedented achievement is ‘futile’, given how Red Bull are so far ahead at the moment, the Canadian believes that’s far from the case.

“Why would it be futile?” he said.

“Mercedes were so far ahead, and no one else gave up. It’s possible that Red Bull arrives at a point where they can’t evolve the car because they hit a wall in the development and Mercedes finds something.

“It’s never the end, even without rule changes.”

Read more: Exclusive: Jacques Villeneuve weighs in on Lewis Hamilton’s F1 contract extension

Lewis Hamilton claims ‘nothing easy’ about W14 after P8 finish in qualifying

On the track, Lewis Hamilton will line up on the fourth row on Sunday after a difficult qualifying session overall, struggling for grip throughout with his W14.

While there is hope for Mercedes on Sunday, they looked some way off the benchmark set by Ferrari and Red Bull, with team boss Toto Wolff admitting they are finishing towards the bottom of the speed trap standings in the current guise.

“I lost it all in I think the second or last sector, I was up in the first, a bit of the second, but I was just struggling with the car,” Hamilton told media including after qualifying concluded.

“Our car just in general is very hard to optimise, there’s nothing easy about this one.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton declares ‘there’s nothing easy’ about W14 after Monza struggles

Charles Leclerc left ruing lack of tow in Q3

Charles Leclerc was clearly frustrated at not taking pole position himself, sitting less than seven hundredths behind Sainz’s pole lap after what was a thrilling qualifying session for Ferrari.

But 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg believes the Ferrari driver made a “political mistake” by not accepting a tow on his final qualifying run, opting instead to not lose time in the corners in dirty air.

“I think Charles Leclerc probably made a mistake on the team internal politics there, because it shouldn’t have been that he pulls Carlos two times in a row in Q3 on a track like Monza,” Rosberg told Sky F1 while on punditry duties.

“He should have made sure before there that at least it’s one on one in the last part of qualifying, so I think he made a mistake there.”

Read more: Nico Rosberg questions Charles Leclerc’s ‘Ferrari politics mistake’ in Q3 at Monza