Motorsport: Kiwi rookie Liam Lawson qualifies 12th for Formula One Italian Grand Prix

Kiwi rookie Liam Lawson continues to make the most of his call-up to Formula One racing, qualifying 12th for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

After finishing 13th in his maiden F1 appearance at Zandvoort last week, Lawson, 21, has taken advantage of better preparation this time to find a spot mid-grid at his AlphaTauri team's home track, clocking 1m 21.758s around the 5.8km circuit.

The youngster was a late call-up for the Dutch GP, after Aussie Daniel Ricciardo suffered a broken hand during practice, leaving his replacement very little opportunity to come to grips with his new car.

Liam Lawson in actin at Monza.
Liam Lawson in actin at Monza. Photo credit: Getty Images

Lawson started at the back of the field and worked his way through the field, passing five-time winner Charles LeClerc on the 41st lap, before the Monegasque withdrew with structural damage to his car. 

Seven days later, he has had a whole week to prepare mentally and extra practice time behind the wheel. He will start one spot behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda (1m 21.594s), whom he also beat at Zandvoort.

"Overall, we've been progressing over the sessions, building up my confidence," said Lawson. "I'm happy to have made some improvements and I'm sure there’s more to come.

"It's a good position to be starting in and with both cars so close to each other, I'm positive about points for the team tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz has Ferrari fans dreaming of ending Red Bull's domination and Max Verstappen's record run, after the Spaniard roared to pole position.

Verstappen will chase his 10th consecutive Formula One win and joined Sainz on the front row, after missing out on pole by a mere 13-thousandths of a second at Monza's atmospheric 'Temple of Speed'.

Only 0.067s separated Sainz's fastest flying lap of 1m 20.294s from teammate Leclerc in third place.

Ferrari fans, who unfurled giant prancing horse flags in the grandstands before the session started, have had little to cheer about this season, but they roared on the red cars with passion and pride.

The pole was Ferrari's third of a season in which Red Bull have won all 13 races so far and Sainz's first since Austin, Texas, last October.

The final top-10 shootout took place with a stewards' enquiry hanging over Ferrari for going too slowly in the first phase, but that threat dropped away, as officials decided to take no further action.

Liam Lawson at the Italian Grand Prix.
Liam Lawson at the Italian Grand Prix. Photo credit: Getty Images

Sainz, 29, who set the fastest lap in practice, says he felt goosebumps on the slowing-down lap, as he felt the crowd's excitement.

"It's incredible," he said. "Everywhere we go, it's just noise, support and encouragement, and it's the best feeling you can have as a driver.

"Tomorrow, I will give it everything to hold on to that P1. A good start, a good first stint and see if we can battle Max.

"Normally, in the long runs, he is quicker, but I am going to give it all."

Last year's winner to boos from the crowd, after the race finished behind the safety car, Verstappen had to settle for second, but did not expect that to be for long.

"Of course, tomorrow, we'll try to win the race," said the Dutch driver. "Normally we have a quicker race car."