Lewis Hamilton comfortably outpaced Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to secure pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion had the measure of his title rival throughout qualifying on his way to a seventh pole position of the season.
Hamilton topped the times after his first run in Q3 before going on to improve his benchmark to a 1:21.135s, which proved to be 0.478s quicker than Rosberg on the super-soft tyres.
After dominating practice, Mercedes continued to set a blistering pace as Ferrari once again emerged as the Silver Arrows' nearest rivals.
A last gasp effort from Sebastian Vettel saw the four-time world champion claim third just ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas managed to put his Williams in fifth ahead of the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who were unable to match Ferrari at the high speed Monza circuit.
Ricciardo headed into qualifying having undertaken a power unit change overnight.
The top 10 was completed by Sergio Perez (Force India), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and the Haas F1 of Esteban Gutierrez.
Felipe Massa fell agonisingly shy of securing a spot in Q3, leaving him 11th on the grid for Sunday's race.
The Williams driver announced plans to retire from F1 at the end of the season prior to this weekend's race.
Romain Grosjean qualified in 12th but will start the race from 17th on the grid after incurring a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
Sainz's team-mate Daniil Kvyat once again struggled as he failed to progress from Q1 in the Toro Rosso.
The Russian driver was joined by the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson, and the Renaults of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen.
An electrical issue for Esteban Ocon's Manor saw the rookie fail to log a flying lap in the session.
Sunday's Italian Grand Prix is scheduled to begin at 2200 AEST.
Result: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix Qualifying
|Q2 5 place penalty