Sebastian Vettel surprised by Ferrari's Q3 struggles

Sebastian Vettel surprised by Ferrari's Q3 struggles

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes has shown its strength by taking back-to-back victories to secure the drivers' championship lead for the first time this season.

Sebastian Vettel has been on the podium at Ferrari's home Italian Grand Prix for the past two years but anything less than a win on Sunday could cost the German the lead in the Formula One championship.

Hamilton was the last to cross the line, and his lap was an incredible 1.1 seconds faster than Red Bull's Max Verstappen with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo third.

Bottas then demoted Vettel and though Hamilton looked on course to usurp his teammate, he lost time in the final sector and ended up second.

"I'd be surprised if at the next race it's not a different story, obviously at this circuits we're lacking in speed". Hamilton, the first man to win consecutive races this year, was not fazed by the boos, claiming he drowned out their disdain with a song he wrote.

"I have talked about it with Sebastian and Kimi", said the Canadian-Italian, "but the most interesting and encouraging point is that we have a car development plan for the rest of the year".

"We try hard everywhere, but probably the emotions would be bigger here". When you turn up and see the fans at the gate, there's a lot of Ferrari fans there but at least 50 per cent of them say 'Forza Ferrari, come to Ferrari'.

"It's still close and a long way to go".

Lewis Hamilton admits that he will need time to let his record-breaking 69th pole position sink in.

Alonso was raging after Palmer jumped the second chicane as they fought for 12th position early on and decided not to give the place back.

The delay was caused by Romain Grosjean after he crashed in the wet and criticised the conditions as "dangerous".

"It's crunch time", Martin said. "If you can dream it, you can do it", read another.

And Perth-based Alister McRae, younger brother of Scotland's 1995 world rally champion Colin McRae, makes his debut in the World Rallycross Championship at its French round at Loheac in Brittany. Saturdays, they are very strong.

"For me it looks like Ferrari have taken a step back this weekend".

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