Ferrari’s hopes of scoring a first Formula 1 pole position on home soil since 2010 faded with the weather on Saturday at Monza as Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ailed to P7 and P8 in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
Ferrari ventured to its home grand prix with its best chance of winning in front of its loyal Tifosi fan-following in a number of years, enjoying a strong start to the season that has seen Vettel lead the championship throughout.
Vettel saw his points lead fall to just seven after Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Belgium last weekend, but looked to be in the hunt for pole after running well through practice on Friday.
Heavy rain in the lead-up to qualifying threatened to shake up the pecking order, creating an opportunity for Ferrari, yet it was Hamilton who took full advantage of the wet weather to score a record-breaking 69th career pole.
Ferrari, meanwhile, saw its pace dwindle after switching from intermediate to wet tires for the final stage of qualifying after more rain fell, with Raikkonen and Vettel slipping to seventh and eighth respectively.
“I’m that surprised by how quick the others went. Clearly we couldn’t go the same pace,” Vettel said.
“At this stage we don’t know why I’m sure there are a couple of things we will look into and try understand.
“Obviously something didn’t work, didn’t come together. Now it is what it is, we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Some solace for Ferrari is that Raikkonen and Vettel will move up to P5 and P6 on the grid thanks to engine penalties for Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, but with Hamilton on pole, Mercedes looks poised to rain on the Scuderia’s homecoming parade at Monza.
The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.