Lewis Hamilton brought an end to Nico Rosberg’s run of pole positions as he edged his team-mate in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
Having set the pace in the proceeding practice sessions all eyes were on Mercedes pair at Monza as the intra-team battle heated up on Saturday afternoon.
Hamilton claimed the opening salvo as he posted a 1:24.109 to hold provisional pole by 0.443s ahead of his Championship leading team-mate.
Heading out late in the session for a second run, Rosberg was ahead of Hamilton on the track and was up through the first sector.
He did, however, lose time in the second and third and although he improved overall he stayed second behind Hamilton.
Assured of pole position, the British racer backed off and spent his lap waving at the fans. It is Hamilton’s fifth pole of this season.
The Williams drivers claimed the second row with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa while McLaren locked out the third, Kevin Magnussen will start ahead of Jenson Button.
Fernando Alonso was a disappointing seventh in front of Ferrari’s home crowd, especially as he had been closest to the Merc duo in the final practice.
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was the only big-name casualty in qualifying as the Ferrari driver struggled to put together an error-free lap. He dropped out in Q2, finishing with the 12th best time.
Meanwhile, it was another dreadful afternoon for Lotus as neither Pastor Maldonado nor Romain Grosjean made it out of Q1. The duo, though, did at least beat the Caterham and Marussia drivers.
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.109
02 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.383 +0.274
03 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:24.697 +0.588
04 Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.865 +0.756
05 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:25.314 +1.205
06 Jenson Button McLaren 1:25.379 +1.270
07 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.430 +1.321
08 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:25.436 +1.327
09 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.709 +1.600
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:25.944 +1.835
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:26.070
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.110
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:26.157
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.279
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:26.588
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:26.692
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:27.520
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.632
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:27.671
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:27.738
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.247
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:28.562