The Q3 session of the Italian Grand Prix 2019 was a farce to say the least, especially the dying seconds. In the melee, only Carlos Sainz was able to reach the chequered flag on time. In light of the bizarre scenes, Lewis Hamilton cheekily suggested that the the whole stunt was a ploy by Scuderia Ferrari.
He jokingly said that the scarlet cars held the field back deliberately: “Get pole position on the first run and then time us out.”
It almost seemed as if he was admiring the clever tactics if that was actually the case. In the end though, what was done is done, and Charles LeClerc is on pole position, flanked by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
It was already set to be a hectic session as Kimi Raikkonen crashed out, with six and a half minutes to go. The session was red flagged and oddly enough, everybody left it until the last gasp to come out.
Then, Nico Hulkenberg ran wide and everyone backed right off, almost to a standstill. After the German driver rejoined, some drivers were suddenly made aware of the time and there was a mad scramble to reach the chequered flag. Unfortunately, it was too late, and only Sainz was able to reach the flag on time.
Part of the blame has to go to the teams as well, because if they planned a slow out lap, sending them out with two minutes to go, on a circuit with an average lap time of 80 seconds is a bad idea.