Hamilton claims pole at Italy Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton claimed his seventh successive pole position when posting the quickest time in his Mercedes in qualifying Saturday for the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton claims pole at Italy Grand Prix
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Hamilton's 11th pole from the 12 races this season came at the expense of the two Ferraris driven by Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn's first front row start since China in 2013, and Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg, who trails the world champion by 28 points, could manage only fourth.

The last driver to notch up seven poles in a row was Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari in 2000-01.


Italian Grand Prix: Alonso accuses stewards of drinking beer instead of watching race

The stewards at Sunday's Italian Grand Prix were 'having a Heineken' instead of watching the race properly, according to a furious Fernando Alonso.

Italian Grand Prix: Alonso accuses stewards of drinking beer instead of watching race
McLaren's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso. Photo: AFP

The two-time world champion accused the stewards of enjoying the beer supplied by Formula One's sponsors after an incident in which Briton Jolyon Palmer passed him, by cutting out the second chicane.

He believed the stewards misread the incident and did not react appropriately, launching into a tirade of radio messages to his McLaren-Honda team.

The incident had enabled Palmer of Renault to take 12th position in the race – which he refused to give back, as is conventional when a driver cuts out a chicane.

The stewards eventually caught up with events and gave Palmer a five-second penalty before he retired with mechanical problems. When Alonso learned of the Englishman's exit, he told his team it was 'karma'.

He said: “When we arrived at the chicane we were side-by-side… We braked late and I managed to take the chicane, but he didn't and he jumped it and stayed in front.

“Usually, that's something that's very clear in the rules – when two cars are side-by-side at the chicane and one gets to take it and one doesn't, you give back the position — but this time the FIA must have been having a Heineken.

“It was not up to F1 standards. There is not an interpretation possible there. It is black and white, but anyway, fighting for 16th and 17th, it doesn't matter.”

Alonso was also forced into retirement on the penultimate lap with gearbox problems.

Palmer said he blamed Alonso for their incident at the chicane. “I was ahead coming in, he braked super-late and forced me off the track – I'm sure it will be another talking point at the next race because Fernando is not very happy about it, but I don't care.”

The pair also clashed at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, triggering the bad blood that was prevalent in Sunday's race.

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