Qualifying typically determines the grid order for Sunday’s race but Monza is playing host to the second ever Sprint Race which will act in its place.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will be looking to take pole position for tomorrow’s 30-minute race which will then determine the grid for Sunday’s main event.
The Dutchman arrives into the Italian Grand Prix with momentum on his side after his home victory at Zandvoort last week.
Follow Sportsmail’s Kieran Lynch for live Formula One qualifying coverage of the Italian Grand Prix, including build-up, updates and result.
Was close at the end
Mercedes didn’t need to improve but Norris and Verstappen improved with the top four separated by under three tenths.
Both Aston Martins and Alpines out
The chequered flag is out and the bottom five are Vettel, Stroll, Alonso, Ocon and Russell.
Hamilton is quickest again from Bottas, Norris, Verstappen and Ricciardo. Perez just scrapes through in P10.
That pit-lane incident will be investigated after the session. Could be a penalty for Aston Martin.
Cars back out
Madness in the pit lane as Aston Martin release Stroll into the path of Hamilton and an Alpine mechanic has to move out of the way to give Stroll space.
Bottas to start at the back of Sunday’s race race
Well well well interesting developments at Mercedes.
Bottas has taken a whole new power unit and he will start at the back for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Wherever he qualifies today will be where he starts for tomorrow’s Sprint Race.
Mercedes will be liking the gap to Red Bull
There will be a smile on Mercedes team members after those first laps in Q2. Hamilton was a massive seven tenths quicker than his title rival.
Alonso is down in P15 and we can see why as he runs wide at the first turn and comes out next to Perez who saves his hand at the Spaniard.
McLaren’s going strongly
Norris and Ricciardo go into P3 and P4 and they are less than half a second off the Mercedes. Gasly is in P5 ahead of Verstappen, Giovinazzi, Stroll, LeClerc and Perez.
The Mexican Red Bull driver says he needs a tow.
Mercedes put a huge gap to Red Bull
Perez is the first man to set a time for the session putting in a 1:21.1 before Verstappen goes four tenths faster and then Bottas goes quickest with a 1:20.0! That’s a huge lap!
Or we think before Hamilton goes into the 1:19’s!
Red Bull lead the way
This time it’s the Red Bull drivers who lead the way for their warm-up laps. Plenty of improvement needed if they can challenge the Mercedes cars.
Sky F1 are reporting there is an issue with LeClerc’s Ferrari but he has come out for his lap.
No penalty necessary for the unsafe releasing for Mazepin in Q1.
Off we go for Q2
Unsurprisingly it got very messy as drivers were setting their quick times coming up against slow cars.
Gasly had to pass SIX cars around the outside of Ascari chicane but he made it through.
Green light comes on for Q2.
Ignore that he’s through!
Late drama as Russell has made it through as Tsunoda has had a lap time deleted and is demoted into the bottom five behind Russell.
Game on still for the newly announced 2022 Mercedes driver.
George Russell is out!
Despite his late improvement Russell is out after Q1 along with team mate Latifi, Schumacher, Kubica and Mazepin.
Norris set a good time to go up to third behind the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas with Verstappen fourth.
Sainz rounded out the top five ahead of Giovinazzi who did a stellar job and LeClerc.
It’s getting packed as drivers prepare for their laps
There is around 12 cars going slowly down the back straight could be messy.
Vettel gets himself into good space though so he has a good chance of improving.
Mazepin says Schumacher needs to get a move on though the German is stuck behind a train of cars so not much he can do there!
Good lap from Russell who is up to 11th with Latifi also improving to 13th.
Vettel and Ocon are in the bottom five and you’d expect they can get out of that danger zone.
Better from Verstappen
Verstappen has gone up to third with Sainz in fourth and LeClerc fifth.
Russell is now on a flyer as he looks to get out of the bottom five.
Five minutes remaining
Bottom five currently are Russell, LeClerc, Schumacher, Mazepin and Kubica.
An incident between Mazepin and Kubica has been noted though we haven’t seen what happened there.
Norris makes an improvement to third and now the McLarens are running P3 and P4.
Nearly a horrible moment for Gasly as he has to go around the outside of about five cars towards the end of the lap and his lap time gets ruined by a Ferrari in the middle of the chicane.
Surely something the FIA has to look into going forward.
‘What the f*** are they doing?
The chaos has started early with Verstappen asking ‘what the f*** are they doing’ after he gets balked by other drivers on their out laps.
There is a huge cluster of cars together so it could get messy.
There is also an incident being investigated involving Mazepin and LeClerc as the Haas team released their man directly in front of LeClerc in the pits.
Not a great start for Verstappen
Not at all comfortable for Verstappen who will have to put in another lap as his first time was only good enough for P9. The Dutchman like Tsunoda dropped a tyre onto the gravel.
His team mate Perez didn’t go much better but is two places higher.
The Ferrari’s came into the pits to change tyres and are back out.
Hamilton goes quickest
Hamilton with a flying lap to go quickest and he is two tenths quicker than Bottas.
The track is ramping up with Ricciardo, Gasly and Giovinazzi also climbing into the top five.
Meanwhile LeClerc was on the radio concerned that his car might have an issue. Ferrari didn’t seem too keen to talk over the radio over any potential problems.
Good lap for Norris
Max Verstappen goes P1 but Lando Norris behind him is setting quickest sectors.
It’s a good lap for the McLaren driver and he goes four tenths quicker than the Dutchman. That McLaren has some pace it looks.
Lap time already deleted
Mick Schumacher has already had his lap time disallowed even before he set a lap. If you run wide at the last corner it also means your next lap time is disallowed and the Haas driver ran wide on his out lap.
LeClerc is the first to cross the line before Sainz gets the benefit of the tow to go three tenths quicker.
Tsunoda meanwhile kicks up a bit of gravel as he runs a wheel off the track but nothing too major.
The two Ferraris lead the way
There wasn’t any mad rush to leave the pits but the drivers eventually come out led by the Ferrari pair of LeClerc and Sainz.
Off we go
The green light is displayed and off we go for the first part of qualifying to decide pole position for the Sprint Race.
Track limits could be an issue
The first practice session saw a number of laps deleted for drivers running wide at the final turn.
Lando Norris was only 12th during the session but would have been much higher if he had not run wide and had his lap time removed. Norris could be a potential contender to make the top five today.
Charles LeClerc made the same mistake twice, while Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher also had lap times deleted.
Not long to go now until qualifying gets underway!
What about Ferrari’s chances in front of the Tifosi
There have been signs of improvement for Ferrari this season but it still feels a long time ago since Charles LeClerc took victory at Monza in 2019.
The Tifosi who weren’t in attendance last year would love to see LeClerc and Sainz battle it out at the front this weekend.
But the drivers are expecting a tough weekend at a track which doesn’t really suit the car, with Sainz admitting that their aim will be to make the top eight.
Ferrari will hope to have a positive this weekend in front of the Tifosi
Last time out
Max Verstappen holds a three point lead going into the weekend after his victory at the Dutch Grand Prix in front of an electric crowd.
After winning at the farcical Belgian GP, Verstappen was made to work hard for his victory last week beating Lewis Hamilton who pushed him all the way before the Brit’s late pit-stop.
It will be a tough challenge for Red Bull this weekend at a track which has historically suited the Mercedes car. If they can beat the champions here, Red Bull will fancy their chances of beating them everywhere.
Verstappen took the lead in the drivers' championship with his win at Zandvoort
Busy week in the driver market
It’s been a hectic week in the driver market with the big news that George Russell will drive alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022.
He replaces Valtteri Bottas who joins Alfa Romeo to replace the retiring Kimi Raikkonen. Talking of the Iceman, Raikkonen is not in action this week following his positive Covid test before the Dutch GP and Robert Kubica will again stand in his place.
Also good news to see Alex Albon will be back on the grid in 2022. The former Red Bull driver replaces his good friend Russell in the vacant Williams seat.
George Russell is in good spirits after confirmation of his move to Mercedes
Could be a chaotic session
The tow at Monza is hugely powerful in comparison to most other tracks and in past years you have seen drivers squabbling for position to set themselves up for the perfect lap.
It led to some hairy moments last year with Kimi Raikkonen almost clattering into the back of Esteban Ocon.
So don’t be too surprised if the first part of qualifying in particular turns into a bit of a mess!
Mercedes look rapid!
If there was any circuit on the F1 calendar you would expect to suit the Mercedes package then it is Monza.
So perhaps no surprise earlier today Lewis Hamilton was quickest by 0.452 seconds to title rival Max Verstappen.
Interesting to note that Hamilton’s time was set on the medium tyre while Verstappen’s was set on the quicker soft compound.
Full details on FP1 👀#ItalianGP 🇮🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/F2ebOrFMpd
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 10, 2021
Second ever Sprint Race weekend
As you might remember the Sprint Race format was first introduced for the British Grand Prix weekend earlier this season.
That time Lewis Hamilton took pole on Friday but started the Grand Prix in second after losing out to Max Verstappen in the Sprint Race. And we all remember what happened between Hamilton and Verstappen that weekend!
There is still doubt in the paddock over the format and whether it should be used going forward so should be an interesting weekend to see how it plays out this weekend.
And welcome all to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Friday qualifying ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
When there’s qualifying on a Friday you know something’s different this weekend and that’s because the Sprint Race format is back for the second time this season.
Today’s qualifying will set up the order for tomorrow’s Sprint Race which will then determine the order for the main event on Sunday.
Kieran Lynch here with you today and I’ll bring all the build-up, updates and result with the session set to get underway at 5pm.