Lewis Hamilton ended his pole position drought in Italy yesterday after finishing fastest in qualifying ahead of teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.
However, with both Mercedes drivers starting on the front row of the grid, the entire F1 world will be watching to see if there is a repeat of their on-track clash at the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Hamilton and Rosberg have both made assurances that there will be no contact, and the consequences would be severe, as made clear by the team in a meeting last week. In the heat of a championship battle though, anything could happen.
Just behind the Silver Arrows, Williams looks to be in contention for a big haul of points. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked out the second row of the grid, and given the race pace of the FW36, both should be vying to complete the podium behind the Mercedes drivers today.
Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Force India will most probably make up the support cast for this one, but all will want to be in a position to capitalize on any drama at the front of the field should it strike.
You can watch today’s Italian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET.
FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE
- Daniil Kvyat has been given a 10-place grid penalty for using a sixth internal combustion engine on his car, thus exceeding the limit of five for a season. He will start from 21st place.
- Marcus Ericsson will start the race from the pit lane after ignoring double waved yellow flags during FP3 on Saturday.
- Lotus has been fined €1,000 after Pastor Maldonado was found speeding in the pit lane.
STARTING GRID FOR THE 2014 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams
4. Felipe Massa Williams
5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
6. Jenson Button McLaren
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
8. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
10. Sergio Perez Force India
11. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
14. Adrian Sutil Sauber
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
17. Romain Grosjean Lotus
18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia
20. Max Chilton Marussia
21. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
PL. Marcus Ericsson Caterham