No lap time for Verstappen in qualifying Italian GP: 'Lost power'

Published on 07 September 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen has not been able to set a lap time during the qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. The Dutchman was underway in Q1 for a timed lap, but had to abort because of loss of power. Causing Verstappen to end last in the first part of qualifying. It does not matter too much for his grid position as Verstappen was already to get a grid penalty for and engine change. Charles Leclerc took pole position, after a strange end of Q3 where only Carlos Sainz was able to start his last quick lap in time. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas completed the top three. Max’ teammate Alexander Albon will start tomorrow from eighth place.

Afterwards Max explains what happened: “We wanted to come out and try to set a lap time, but unfortunately this did not happen. I lost power and had to abort my lap. It was not the same problem as in Spa, but in the end it had the same effect.” The Dutchman does not worry about the race: “It should not happen during the race as we will be driving with different settings regarding engine power. I am quite sure everything will be fine tomorrow.”

What will the race look like? “Everything feels okay, so I am confident. We will try to get forward as far as possible, but that will depend a bit on how quickly I can get through the traffic. A lot of cars are competitive here, so it will be a bit harder than some other tracks where the gaps are bigger. The target is to get into the top five.”

With a temperature of more than twenty degrees the qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix gets underway. Robert Kubica is the first who comes out on track, but the Pole is quickly joined by the other drivers. When everyone has already set a time Max Verstappen is still in the pits.

With less than five minutes to go Max leaves the pit box, but not long after that the RB15 of the Dutchman is pushed back in as Sergio Pérez stopped in turn three and the session is stopped. After a short delay Verstappen can come out again, but during his quick lap the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver reports power loss. Max returns to his team, but ends the first qualifying session last without setting a time. Because of a grid penalty suffered by an engine change, this qualifying result will not affect the starting position too much.

Charles Leclerc is in Q1 the quickest. Besides Verstappen also Romain Grosjean, Sergio Pérez, George Russell and Robert Kubica do not progress to Q2.

Lewis Hamilton end the second part of qualifying fastest with a time of 1:19.464, driven on soft tyres. Charles Leclerc (+0.089), Sebastian Vettel (+0.251), Daniel Ricciardo (+0.369), Valtteri Bottas (+0.554) and Alexander Albon (+0.557) for behind the Brit the top six. Drop outs are Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly.

During the first run in Q3 it suddenly goes wrong for Kimi Räikkönen, who loses control over his Alfa Romeo in the last turn and ends in the tyre wall. The session is stopped, causing the lap times of Alexander Albon and Valtteri Bottas not to be registered. Charles Leclerc is at that moment first with a time of 1:19.307, but the margin to Hamilton (+0.039), Bottas (+0.047) and Vettel (+0.150) is minimal.

After the track is cleared the drivers come out for their last timed lap. It turns out to be an anti-climax as only Carlos Sainz is in time to start his lap. The rest comes over the line after the chequered flag comes down. After the McLaren driver finishes his lap, Leclerc is assured of pole position. Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo and Hülkenberg complete the top six.

Italian GP contest: win a signed orange Max driver cap and 1:43 scale model!

Results qualifying Italy:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:20.1261:19.5531:19.307
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:20.2721:19.4641:19.346
3Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:20.1561:20.0181:19.354
4Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:20.3781:19.7151:19.457
5Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:20.3741:19.8331:19.839
6Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:20.1551:20.2751:20.049
7Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:20.4131:20.2021:20.455
8Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:20.3821:20.021DNF
9Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:20.6431:20.498DNF
10Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:20.6341:20.515DNF
11Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:20.6571:20.517
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:20.6161:20.615
13Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:20.7231:20.630
14Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:20.6461:21.068
15Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:20.5081:21.125
16Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:20.784
17Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:21.291
18George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:21.800
19Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:22.356
0Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing HondaDNF