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F1: Carlos Sainz Pips Max Verstappen to Italian Grand Prix Pole by Just 0.013 Seconds | WATCH – News18


Last Updated: September 02, 2023, 22:47 IST

F1, Italian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen (AP)

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won pole for the Italian Grand Prix with Red Bull’s Formula One leader Max Verstappen behind by only 0.013 seconds.

Carlos Sainz brought cheer to Ferrari’s passionate army of home fans on Saturday after claiming pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

Sainz lapped Monza’s “Temple of Speed” with a fastest time of one minute 20.294 seconds, 0.013 quicker than Verstappen’s final flying lap with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc qualifying third.

Just 0.067 of a second separated the top three drivers on a sunny afternoon at Monza with the Ferrari ‘tifosi’, who have had little to cheer about this season, roaring on the red cars as they took the battle to dominant Red Bull.

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Charles Leclerc in the other Ferrari took third to start from the second row alongside the Mercedes of George Russell.

Sainz said he felt goosebumps as he crossed the final line and soaked up the reaction on his slowing down lap after an intense session.

“It’s incredible. Everywhere we go it’s just noise, support and encouragement and it’s the best feeling you can have as a driver,” said the Spaniard.

“Tomorrow I will give it everything to hold on to that P1. A good start, a good first stint and see if we can battle Max. Normally in the long runs he is quicker but I am going to give it all.”

Verstappen said he was happy to be second, for a change.

“Of course tomorrow we’ll try to win the race. Normally we have a quicker race car, but let’s just enjoy today and then we’ll focus on tomorrow,” said the Dutch driver.

Sainz trails Verstappen by a whopping 237 points in the drivers’ championship and is yet to claim a podium finish this season.

But he shone in Saturday’s qualifying in front of loud home support after already showing his speed by topping the times in two practice sessions, and celebrated with delighted Ferrari fans after snatching pole in the final moments.

Dutchman Verstappen still has a great chance to break the record of nine straight GP wins he shares with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel after winning a dramatic race on home soil in Zandvoort last weekend.

Verstappen has won 11 of the 13 races so far this year and leads Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez by 138 points in the standings.

Perez, who is the only other driver to win this season, finished 0.394sec back in fifth.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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