Leclerc takes pole position for Italian GP

MONZA, Italy (AP) — Charles Leclerc secured a second straight pole position at the end of a chaotic qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday to give Ferrari encouragement it can end a nine-year wait for success at its home race.

Leclerc, who claimed his first victory in Formula One last weekend at the Belgian GP, was .039 seconds ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton and .047 clear of Valtteri Bottas.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday’s race from fourth after finishing .150 behind his Ferrari teammate. It is the seventh race in a row that Leclerc has beaten Vettel in qualifying.

The start of Q3 was delayed after last year’s pole sitter, Kimi Raikkonen, hit the wall at Parabolica for the second time this weekend. The Alfa Romeo driver escaped unscathed.

Ferrari hasn’t won its home race since Fernando Alonso triumphed at Monza in 2010, even after the storied Italian team secured a front-row lockout last season.


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