Sainz takes dramatic Italian GP pole in tight qualifying battle

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Carlos Sainz sent the legions of Tifosi at Monza into raptures after the Spaniard beat out Max Verstappen to pole position for the Italian GP by just 0.013 seconds.

Sainz had similarly edged out the Dutchman to top spot in both FP2 and FP3, and he was able to continue that form in qualifying to take a dramatic pole position, with Ferrari his teammate Charles Leclerc just 0.067 seconds behind the polesitter.

While Verstappen will remain the favourite to repeat his dominant form of the season during the race, the result marks a boon for the Scuderia after a difficult few races where they have been surpassed by McLaren and others.

Behind Leclerc, George Russell secured fourth for Mercedes after a challenging build up for the Brackley outfit, ahead of the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Alex Albon showed that his pace in the Williams is still there, particularly on the low-downforce setup around Monza, qualifying in sixth, knocking Oscar Piastri back to seventh.

Lewis Hamilton was eighth for Mercedes after a nervy Q2, ahead of the second McLaren of Lando Norris, with Fernando Alonso rounding out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

Stroll struggles

Further down the grid, Lance Stroll was a surprise early exit from Q1 down in 20th, compounding a tough weekend for the Canadian who had limited practice running after an issue with the car in FP2 and stepping aside for reserve driver Felipe Drugovich in FP1.

Similarly it was another tough outing for the Alpine pair of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, with bother drivers out in Q1 on a weekend where they have both struggled to match the pace shown last week in Zandvoort.

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and stand-in driver Liam Lawson were 11th and 12th respectively, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas.

Logan Sargeant had another disappointing session for Williams compared to his teammate, with a wobble at Parabolica topping off a poor lap for the American down in 15th, ahead of the second Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu.

Where can I watch the 2023 Italian GP?

For viewers in the UK, every session of the 2023 Italian GP will be shown live on Sky Sports F1, with highlights on Channel 4.

Meanwhile, if you are in the USA, every session will be shown across ESPN

F1 fans in Australia will be able to catch all the action on Fox Sports, while those in Canada can watch on TSN.

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