Ferrari: Mercedes not used to this much pressure

Mercedes F1 Boss Claims Ferrari Have The Fastest Car On The Grid

It was also a new track record at Monza, with Raikkonen clocking 1:19.119 to beat Juan Pablo Montoya's 14-year mark. It's our home race so it should be a lot of fun.

Ferrari was fast in all practice sessions but got pipped out of pole position by Lewis Hamilton during a wet patch period of qualifying.

Finnish teammate Kimi Raikkonen gave the Ferrari fans - who unfurled their giant flags in the main grandstand - a further boost with the second-best time, 0.270 slower than Vettel.

Ferrari has been good off the line this year so Raikkonen and Vettel will feel confident of keeping Hamilton behind them.

Yet, the 38-year-old Finn, whose future beyond this season is still yet to be determined, was curiously afforded the luxury of a slipstream by Ferrari off Vettel's auto.

The result was contact, with Vettel's Ferrari spun round to drop him to the back of the field.

With Vettel only 17 points adrift of Hamilton at the top of the table, and the prospect of tracks coming up that may not suit Mercedes, the team says it is ready to have a think about what to do.

Hamilton's concerns are not shared by his Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff.




Speaking at a subsequent news conference, Vettel offered a cagey response to questions about the nature of his post-qualifying discussions with Ferrari. Raikkonen nursed his auto home to second, with Verstappen crossing the line third before a five-second time penalty dropped him behind Bottas and Vettel in the final classification.

It was a fitting tribute for one of Hamilton's best - and potentially most crucial - wins. Well, if he's starting from pole, I guess he's allowed to win.

Spa showed Ferrari have the speed, even if Monza's low-drag characteristics make comparisons less clear-cut and could again favour Hamilton's Mercedes.

Hamilton: Although Mercedes have won the last two races in Mexico City, it is not normally a track suited to their W09 model with the thin air meaning the wings of their auto produce less downforce.

"So as long as I don't hear anything from that front then I think it's fine, same for the others".

"It was just unbelievable how intense qualifying was, and that's how racing should be".

And then Friday's first practice session turned into another calamity with Vettel able to drive only four laps before a hydraulic leak forced him off the road as his vehicle went back to the pits for a new gearbox.

"Here the tow effect is huge for everyone and getting the gap right is important, but at the end of the day Kimi did the job". At 38, he also became the oldest pole sitter since Nigel Mansell, aged, 41, took pole for the 1994 Australian Grand Prix.

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