Charles Leclerc took pole position at qualifying in Monza at the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.
Racing at Ferrari’s spiritual home, the Monegasque was quickest around the track, with current world champion Max Verstappen second quickest, although he will start down in seventh due to a grid penalty for a new engine.
Leclerc’s time of 1:20.161 put ahead of the rest of the pack, with team-mate Carlos Sainz third and Sergio Perez fourth.
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Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton were fifth and sixth fastest respectively, followed by Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso.
Alonso was a little disappointed with his place, saying: "The Q3 was not very well executed.
"I tried two runs but the first run was also not good. So I am sorry for the team that I did not put a lap together. Even this lap I put together was only enough to be P8 so it seems we are lacking a bit of performance in qualifying. Let's see if we can improve tomorrow."
Despite the relatively strong performance from Red Bull, they must contend with Verstappen’s five-place penalty, and one for 10 places for Perez.
Esteban Ocon (5), Valtteri Bottas (15), Kevin Magnussen (15), Mick Schumacher (15), Sainz (Back of grid), Hamilton (Back of grid) and Yuki Tsunoda (Back of grid) will also drop back.
That appears to leave Leclerc well clear of his nearest and quickest rivals, but having won from deep in the pack already this season, Verstappen may not give up yet.
Nyck De Vries, a late replacement for Alexander Albon who suffered appendicitis, will start in eighth for Williams.
Because of the way penalties are handed out, it is currently expected that Verstappen will line up in fourth, with Norris third and Russell second.
Speaking qualifying, Leclerc said: "It is a very busy week and there is a lot of pressure around the team to be able to perform at such a good level.
"Today is good but now we need to repeat it tomorrow, tomorrow is the critical today but the feeling is really good we just need to put everything together and do no mistakes.
"Honestly, I am quite confident that we have got a very good race pace.
"They have got a different configuration and higher downforce but I am quite confident we can make this work. I will give my best."
Verstappen meanwhile is hoping to start attacking from the off.
"You could see already the whole weekend they (Ferrari) were very competitive and Spa could have been a bit of a fluke especially for other teams," he told Sky.
"I think our car was good again, we chose to run a little more downforce than other teams.
"Maybe over one lap it isn't the right strategy but I always felt really comfortable on the long runs so I am hoping tomorrow when it is even warmer and tyre deg comes into play that it will be a god one for us.
"They (McLaren and Mercedes) were quite far off in qualifying so I am not really expecting them to be a big threat but I am hoping it is not going to become a DRS train because then it becomes really difficult for me to pass them.
"Let's see tomorrow, I hope of course nothing happens in lap one and then if we have good race pace, anything is possible."
Italian Grand Prix Starting Grid
1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
2. George Russell (Mercedes)
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
5. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
6. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
8. Nyck De Vries (Williams)
9. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
10. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
11. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
13. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
14. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
15. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
16. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
17. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
18. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
19. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
20. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
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