Monza, the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar, is staging the second edition of F1’s new trial format with qualifying setting the grid for Saturday’s 18-lap mini race, the results of which then set the grid for the main Grand Prix on Sunday.
Although, on the week he was confirmed as leaving Mercedes at the end of the year to be replaced by George Russell, Bottas went from fifth to first on the final laps of Q3 to pip team-mate Hamilton to the head of the grid.
However Bottas will take grid penalties for engine changes this weekend, but they will not be triggered until Sunday – when he will start the grand prix from last place.
Max Verstappen, the three-point championship leader, had his hands full to stay in touch with Mercedes appearing better suited to the high-speed circuit than Red Bull and claimed third place on the grid.
Meanwhile, Indeed the Dutchman only just held off the flying Mercedes-powered McLarens, with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finishing close behind in fourth and fifth respectively.
Saturday’s F1 Sprint takes place at 3.30pm live on Sky Sports F1, with the Italian GP at 2pm on Sunday. The top three finishers on Saturday are awarded points (three for first, two for second, one for third).