Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes party on with fastest F1 lap ever at Italian GP

“No party. No problem,” declared Mercedes after dominating Italian GP qualifying despite the ban on so-called ‘party modes’, with Lewis Hamilton delivering the fastest lap in Formula 1 history.

Saturday’s session was the first time that all teams were unable to change engine modes during qualifying – with a single mode now to be used from the start of Q1 to the end of the race – meaning Mercedes were shorn of what was widely recognised as a particularly potent top power setting.

No party. No problem. 🔥🚀 pic.twitter.com/LhOIiE7ScF

But the effective rules change made no material difference to the world champions’ domination of F1 qualifying, with Hamilton and Bottas locking out the front row for the sixth race in succession with an advantage over the field of eight tenths of a second.

  • Qualifying report: Hamilton seizes pole, McLaren’s Sainz third

“It’s really hats off to all the guys back at the factory,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports F1.

“With Red Bull really pushing to have the rule change for the engine, and Formula 1 or the FIA trying to slow us down, they handled it really, really well. They kept their heads down and just kept working hard.

“This is really a result of the incredible work those guys do, just really proud to be a part of that incredible chain.”

Hamilton and Mercedes claim another record

Hamilton’s 94th career pole also brought yet another record for F1’s champion driver and team.

By lapping the 3.6-mile Monza layout in a pole-winning time of 1:18.887, Hamilton recorded an average speed of 164.267mph.

That broke the previous all-time record of 163.785mph set by then-Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen at Monza in 2018.

Hamilton, while pleased with his performance, said his laps weren’t quite as stirring as those in Q3 at Spa last weekend, when he beat Bottas to pole by half a second.

“They were very good, but it wasn’t Spa. Spa lap was definitely one of my best,” said Hamilton.

“I reckon Singapore [2018] and Spa are the two best I can remember.

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