FORMULA 1 QUALIFYING LIVE: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes look to bounce back from their disastrous Italian Grand Prix with pole position in Tuscany (and last week’s winner Gasly is out already!)… Follow all the action right here
- Tuscan Grand Prix qualifying gets underway this afternoon at 2pm in Mugello
- After being stunned by AlphaTauri last time, Mercedes are looking to respond
- Latest Formula One news, live action and results can be found right here
Tuscan Grand Prix qualifying gets underway today as Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas look for 1-2 grid start on Mugello Circuit.
The championship-leading team were stunned last time out at Monza when AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly claimed his maiden F1 win of his career following a pit-lane penalty for Hamilton as he looked in complete control.
All eyes will be on Ferrari after a difficult season and their woes could run deeper with another disaster in their own country this weekend.
Sportsmail’s KISHAN VAGHELA will provide live F1 qualifying coverage including lap times, fastest laps, pit stops and crashes.
Lance Stroll makes his way out as the first driver for Q3, where everything will be decided ahead of tomorrow’s Tuscan Grand Prix, and is quickly followed by Max Verstappen.
‘I felt good in practice, the car was nice, my two laps I ran out of energy and when we see the margins it was close. Quite frustrating but we made small mistakes at some crucial moments.’
Pierre Gasly has been speaking to Sky Sports and has well and truly found out the harsh realities of F1 today.
Lewis Hamilton tops a session for the first time this weekend, but the eliminations see Vettel miss out on Q3 again:
11 – Lando Norris – McLaren
12- Daniil Kvyat – AlphaTauri
13 – Kimi Raikkonen – Alfa Romeo
14 – Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
15 – Romain Grosjean – Haas
Sergio Perez doesn’t improve on his lap so stays ninth, while Lando Norris also struggles to improve from Q1 as well, and he is then overtaken by Carlos Sainz and out of the top 10.
For the first time this season, Norris will not go into the final shootout!
Verstappen and Hamilton have certainly arrived along Bottas at Tuscany now, with the top five all still in the garage, with Q3 spots increasingly likely to be secure for them.
Current drop zone, which includes Sebastien Vettel and Kimi Raikkonnen.
Only one McLaren – Norris in 10th – in the top 10 so far here in Q2 with just over five minutes remaining here.
Alex Albon comes fourth, 0.6s offl, while Renault are starting to show their speed with Daniel Ricciardo fifth, ahead of Lance Stroll.
Charles Leclerc then goes seventh for Ferrari.
Bottas is just 0.013s behind his team-mate – while Max Verstappen only a tenth off!
This could be a thriller in Q3, with all three driving a good lap here.
Seems all the remaining drivers are opting for the soft tyres at the start of this Q2, which could say something about tomorrow’s race.
Hamilton meanwhile has been racing around and becomes be the first driver to post a lap, with a time of 1:15.309
The top 10 get into Q3 and the pole shootout, while the slowest five go out, and Hamilton and Bottas are out already on soft tyres.
16 – Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
17 – Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
18 – George Russell (Williams)
19 – Nicholas Lafiti (Williams)
20 – Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Sebastien Vettel is right on the fringes in 15h, but he looks like he is through to Q2 despite another shaky display.
Alexander Albon meanwhile is into the top four, but Pierre Gasly suffers a Q1 elimination after the highs of last week, going into the gravel.
Wide moment for George Russell across the grass!
He was on a great lap but he is now under pressure to get into Q2 now.
Sergio Perez is safe now, as the Mexican moving into fourth place behind the usual top three and all but certainly sees him through to Q2
Vettel and Norris have less than half a tenth to Gasly below them ahead of the decisive final Q1 runs.
Not one in that middle lot appears safe yet, with only 0.3s between around 10 cars.
Last week’s race winner is not going well out there and is in danger of missing out on Q2, currently lying in 16th place.
That is disappointing for Vettel, who can only manage 10th fastest in this first set of qualifying races.
Pierre Gasly meanwhile also disappoints finishing 15th.
But Valtteri Bottas has gone 0.029s faster despite Hamilton getting into the 1:15s.
Impressive early pace from Mercedes, with Bottas’ 1:15.749 a new track record.
Lance Stroll now setting the pace for Racing Point, ahead of the disappointed Sergio Perez. with the former continuing doing brilliantly this weekend so far
But Mercedes are now on their flying laps, with Hamilton and Bottas trying to find their rhythm.
Nicholas Latifi going extremely well early on here for Williams as the first stages of qualifying get underway, with a time of 1:17.924
Williams George Russell, who missed out on practice earlier today with a brake problem, is also going to make the most of the track time available.
It’s go-time! Cars are piling up in the pits forming a queue as they want to be among the first out there under the beating sun and excellent conditions, with Williams the first out.
Valterri Bottas looks in a relaxed mood as he prepares to make his way out and see if he can continue his good practices so far.
A 3.2 mile circuit, how will Hamilton and his team-mate fare as they look to continue their dominance.
Not long to go now until we get underway in qualifying, with the winds starting to pick up at the Tuscan venue.
The world champion, who is Britain’s richest sportsman with a £230million fortune, is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of the season and is expected to sign an extension worth £40m a year.
Sportsmail’s Charlotte Daly has the story
Martin Brundle has said Alexander Albon has got to start pulling his weight in the battle against Mercedes but expects Red Bull to stick with him
‘They really want it to work with Alex Albon, they don’t seem to be considering putting Pierre Gasly back in and making a U-turn on that.
‘They will give Albon a bit longer yet before they make a decision on what to do next.
‘But they’re fighting with Mercedes with one hand behind their back, one car against two, unless Alex can get right up there and play his part in helping his team strategise against Mercedes.’
A bit of bad news for Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who will be one place lower on the starting grid on Sunday than today.
The Mexican is carrying a one-place grid penalty after he came out of the pit-lane and collided with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during Saturday’s practice session.
It comes as another blow to him this week after he was informed he was the driver being replaced in favour of Vettel. Not a good week.
As if we needed another sideplot to this weekend’s action, the emergence of James Matthews as one of the new big bosses at Williams
He raced in Formula Renault in his younger days and is married to Pippa Middleton, so let’s see if he can adds some royal panache to the side.
‘We have to be realistic you need to be in Mercedes to win the Championship, but those two seats are taken. It is mostly the team and the spirit and potential.
‘There is more to come from that team [Aston Martin next year] than people have seen so far from.’
Strong words from Sebastien Vettel on his move.
It’s been a difficult season so far for Ferrari, who are suffering their worst season in 30 years.
They are set to celebrate 1,000th race on home soil in Mugello, but how do they get back on track? Can it start with qualifying?
Those words would be something we haven’t really mentioned this season, and much in the last few seasons due to his dominance.
But Mugello be the circuit that adds some uncertainty though?
It is full of full-bore curves and roller-coaster rises and dips is a challenge the world champion says he is still getting used to, calling it ‘intense’ before qualifying.
Hamilton has often pulled a result out of the bag when he needs to, but with Bottas practice results he will need to so again.
1. Valterri Bottas 1:16.350
2. Max Verstappen +0.017
3. Lewis Hamilton +0.083
4. Lance Stroll +0.582
5. Pierre Gasly +0.696
6. Sergio Perez +0.811
7. Charles Leclerc +0.958
8.Alex Albon +1.008
9. Danni Kvyat +1.097
10. Romain Grosjean +1.105
Max Verstappen looks like he will be the closest contender to Mercedes duo Bottas and Hamilton for position on the grid, particuarly after the former swept practice.
But while there is a fabulous setting for today’s qualifying and Sunday’s race, a narrow track could well prove to be a challenge for all three.
Hello and welcome.
There were some amazing scenes a few days ago with Pierre Gasly but we are now in Tuscany for qualifying for the first ever Tuscan Grand Prix.
With the Vettel news of a move to Aston Martin and Bottas’ excellent display in practice so far, this promises to be another thriller.
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