Lewis Hamilton has said that he and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg will be free to race in tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix despite qualifying side-by-side on the front row of the grid at Monza today.
The Briton secured his first pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Rosberg, beating his teammate and championship rival by just two points.
However, with the first corner at Monza being notoriously tight, and following their collision at the last race in Belgium, many are considering whether there might be a second incident between the two Silver Arrows in the race tomorrow.
Speaking in the press conference after qualifying, Hamilton confirmed that there would be no team orders, and the team would stick to what it agreed on in a meeting last week.
“That [no team orders] was the decision last week,” Hamilton said. “For tomorrow, it’ll be really good to get another one-two for the team.
“I hope that we also have some competition from [Williams], that’ll be great for the fans.” Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will start directly behind the Mercedes drivers in third and fourth place.
For Rosberg, finishing second ended his streak of four pole positions, but he was still happy with his efforts in the final part of qualifying.
“It was an okay lap,” Rosberg said. “Second place is definitely still a good position for tomorrow. It’s a long race, anything can happen. We need to look towards the race and try and get a good start, and have a good race.”
Rosberg agreed with Hamilton’s view on team orders, saying: “It’s not changed from the start of the season. It’s the same as always.”
Regardless of what the drivers and the team say, all eyes will be on Hamilton and Rosberg when they go side-by-side into the first corner at Monza tomorrow in the heat of a championship battle.
You can watch the Italian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.