The Saturday in F1 Italian GP saw Ferrari take the top spot from Red Bull amid host of penalties for several drivers for the Sunday’s race.

As we saw on Friday, the Ferrari pair looked to have good pace on Saturday of F1 Italian GP as Charles Leclerc took pole and will start from there unlike others. Title rival Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was second but with his penalty, he is down to seventh.

Both their teammates Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez are way down the order, allowing Mercedes’ George Russell to start from the front-row. His teammate Lewis Hamilton too is at the back of grid, with the McLaren pair getting up to the second row.

Leclerc: “It feels really, really good. We still need to finalise this tomorrow, otherwise it’s pointless to do the pole on Saturday, but it is a very good surprise today, considering where we come from, especially in Spa. We were not expecting to fight for pole here. So it’s a very good surprise at home. Yeah, there’s a special motivation for this weekend and it’s great that we managed to do a good job. For the race, good start, obviously, as always, and then we’ll see. I think the race pace is strong, the feeling was really, really good. So, whatever happens in the first lap, I think we still have the pace to win this race, so we’ll try to put everything together, no mistakes during the race and I think we can have a good Sunday. I think overall, after each mistake we learned from them and we try to be better as a team. It’s not because we are here in Monza that it’s more important than other races to not doing any mistakes. We need to become a team that does no mistakes wherever we go. So yeah, it is a special weekend for us but the target for us doesn’t change. We just need to have a clean race and a good race. So yeah, we’ll be targeting that, and let’s see.”

Sainz: “It was a good run. I had a bit of a messy out-lap because I didn’t manage to find a good tow and I had to slow down a bit before the last corner to see if Lando was going through and giving me a tow – but he was clever enough not to do it. It’s a shame though, because my lap there, the 20.4, I had to without the tow.  And around here it’s a bit costly. It was a lap on the limit: everything that I was losing on the straights, I had to pick it back up on the corners. I still managed to improve my Q3, first run lap by quite a bit. So, yeah, it means that in the corners, I must have pushed quite hard, no? But a bit of a shame not to have the tow to content for pole there.

“For the race, I’m going to push obviously, flat out from the beginning, try to make as many positions at the start, and just get to the front as quick as possible. Because then, if there’s a Safety Car or anything, then anything can happen around Monza. I think it’s going to be a very mixed race, there’s a lot of cars out of position. So, there’s going to be a lot of battles during the whole race. It’s going to be quite a hectic one, especially those first 20 laps, I think. But then everything should settle down. Where can I get to? I wish top five like in France would be a good result. But given how quick the Mercedes are lately, is going to be a bit more tricky.”

Verstappen: “I think the lap was pretty decent. Just the first sector we seem to be a little bit slow. So probably better straight-line speed, bit of the first chicane, not finding the right grip, but I think overall the rest of that felt pretty strong. Yeah, we chose, of course, the downforce level a bit higher, compared to some other cars but it felt alright and, of course, you know around here qualifying to race can always feel a bit different and my race runs, they felt really good, so very happy with that pace. So, I’m actually really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think (compared) to some other cars, we still have very good top speed. I think it’s just Ferraris’ a little bit faster than us on the straights so I’m still expecting to get through the field and hopefully once I get close to Charles, it will be a bit more of a battle but then we have to rely on just a bit more downforce through  the corners.”

Hamilton: “You just always have to try and approach it – regardless of the situation – with the glass half full. I have no idea what we can do tomorrow. It could be – in the worst-case scenario – [being] stuck behind and following everybody for the whole race. The best that can happen is we get into the top 10 and get some points – that’s got to be the goal. I made the mistake that’s put me in this position to have to have a new engine and I’ll use the experience to just work on my race craft – it needs work! I’m gonna brush off some of those damn cobwebs and get some good overtaking moves tomorrow if I can.”

As noted above, the McLaren pair are in good shape for the F1 Italian GP in the second row after both made it in Q3 and managed to out-qualify both AlphTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, where the latter was disappointed after his lap was deleted.

But Alonso is banking on Alpine’s race pace for recovery drive especially against the likes of McLaren who are wary of their pace too. Among others, both Gasly and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas felt pretty good where the former found himself in the Top 10.

The latter missed out but felt to have the pace to score points. Despite not making out of Q1, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel felt good about their race pace too, which in general has been good. F1 debutant Nyck de Vries was pleased with the work but reckoned he had more pace in him.

Norris: “I mean, very happy with today, good job by the team. My lap in the end I was very happy with. Pretty much put it all together. Tough, it’s not easy… it’s a short track, not too many corners, but the margins are very close. Especially Q2, I think it was… it was extremely close between everyone. To find the little margins and put them all together is very tough here, but I feel like I did that and gave myself a very good opportunity. I was six-hundredths behind two Mercedes. Yeah, P3 on the grid tomorrow, good opportunity to score some points. We’ve definitely made some improvements from yesterday. The race pace of Fernando was very strong yesterday. So, similar to Zandvoort and a lot of races this year, Saturday we are strong, we can perform, and we can do a good job, but Sunday is the one where we’ve not always been able to deliver and keep up our performance from Saturday. We will work hard tonight to really understand it all and give ourselves the best opportunity to finish ahead and have two cars in the points.”

Alonso: “It’s a little disappointing to finish tenth in Q3 today. My last lap time was also deleted for track limits, which I’m told was good enough for eighth position before the penalties were applied to others. On the whole, we seemed to be lacking a little performance in Qualifying compared to the rest of the weekend. The car has felt good and seems strong on race pace, but we have to be mindful of several fast cars starting behind us. We’ve scored points in ten races in a row, so let’s make it eleven tomorrow.”

De Vries: “We were supposed to do the Pre-Qualifying Show together. I was getting ready for it in the morning with my coffee and porridge and everything, doing a Paddock Club appearance, but things turn around very quickly. It was only, like, one-and-a-half-hours before the first session that I got informed. So, the turnaround was very quick, but the team has been great and very supportive. Obviously, I hope that Alex is healthy and will recover quickly but from my side I am never satisfied enough from myself. I think I put in some good laps, especially the second lap in Q1 was pretty good, but I still felt there was more in it. And then we made some changes in the first run of Q2 and that didn’t quite work out. Obviously, the tyre prep was a bit compromised on the track. And on the last run, I hit a switch which meant that the brake balance was like one and a half percent rearwards, and that’s how I kind of lost the rear into [Turn] 4! A bit gutted about that, but I think that I am allowed to take this anyway.”

Bottas: “I am pretty happy with today’s performance: I think we got everything we could out of this session. Our objective was to be ahead of Magnussen and Schumacher, as they had the same amount of penalties as us and we were fighting for position – and we did it. We knew we had a big penalty today, so we focused completely on setting the car up for the race – and still got very close to a spot in Q3. I feel we have made a good improvement compared to the last couple of rounds and we should be in a position to fight for points, even with the penalty. Our race pace is good, and hopefully we can have some nice battles tomorrow.”

Gasly: “Overall, I am very pleased to make it into Q3. There was still some sliding in the high-speed corners, so I couldn’t fully commit, but the track is amazing to drive. We made some changes after yesterday and they seem to have paid off, but there is still more to get out of the car for tomorrow. There are some faster cars starting behind us tomorrow, due to a number of drivers having penalties, but we’ve seen that it might be more difficult to overtake in the race compared to past years, because the slipstream effect is less with the new cars. Our aim is to stay in the points and, as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen here.”

Vettel: “I was happy with the lap that I did today, which was a reasonable effort from my side. I only had one attempt in the end because of the bodywork coming loose during the first run, which meant that I was unable to get into a rhythm. Generally, this weekend has not been easy for us. At this track, for some reason, we are just not particularly competitive. But it is a new day tomorrow and we will push hard to make progress. We will gain some grid positions from others taking penalties, so we should start in the middle of the grid. We are usually more competitive on Sundays so let us see what we can achieve tomorrow.”

Here’s how F1 Italian GP qualifying panned out