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Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix: F1 Qualifying Results

Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix: F1 Qualifying Results

More Italian sunshine greeted fans at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for today's Formula 1 Qualifying session

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Ferrari dominated yesterday’s practice sessions at their home grand prix. Will their luck continue in Qualifying?

Qualifying Max Verstappen pole
Max Verstappen was back on form and took pole position in Qualifying at Imola. (Image Credit: @redbullracing on Twitter)

Max Verstappen qualified on pole position for tomorrow’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Joining him on the front row is Oscar Piastri in the McLaren. Completing the top three qualifiers, Lando Norris achieved P3 in today’s knockout session.

Recap of practice

Charles Leclerc topped Friday’s timesheets in Imola. The Monégasque set the quickest times in both FP1 and FP2. His teammate, Carlos Sainz set the third fastest time in FP1 and finished in P6 during FP2. The Maranello-based outfit brought an upgrade package to the first race of the European leg of the championship and implemented it effectively during Friday’s sessions.

Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Ferrari before Qualifying
The Ferrari drivers, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc celebrate with the Tifosi fans in Imola before Qualifying. (Image Credit: @ScuderiaFerrari on Twitter)

Williams had poor luck in FP1. Alex Albon’s car had an electrical shutdown during the session which caused a red flag. In FP2, both Williams cars missed the first half of the session. The drivers were sat waiting as the Williams engineers worked on their cars in the garage.

In an eventful FP3, McLaren fought against the Prancing Horses earlier today. Oscar Piastri topped the timesheet, with his teammate, Lando Norris in P2. Sainz completed the top three for FP3. Perhaps the Ferraris could have been more competitive with McLaren without the session’s red flags and final qualifying-like push at the end.

Red Bull struggled in practice at Imola. Max Verstappen’s RB20 was not performing well for him in all three practice sessions. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez crashed out of FP3 along with Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin.

Q1

The lights went out for the start of Qualifying in Imola. The two Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were straight out onto the circuit along with Zhou Guanyu in the Sauber.

Both Ferrari drivers headed out on the medium compound tyres. Whereas, the Mercedes drivers split their strategy. Lewis Hamilton was using the soft compounds and George Russell selected the mediums.

Russell’s first flying lap saw him setting a purple first sector, a green second sector and then boxed at the end of the lap.

Sainz began his hot lap but compromised his time at the beginning with a mistake. Both Ferrari drivers set green first and second sectors. Meanwhile. Alex Albon set a purple first sector.

Leclerc topped the timesheet with a 1:16.463. Then, Albon ran wide onto the gravel in the second Rivazza.

Norris set a purple middle sector but went wide towards the end of his lap. However, he managed to set a P1 time of 1:16.194.

Verstappen was out and performing well in the RB20. His first and second sectors were purple. Meanwhile, his teammate, Perez set a P2 time 0.210 seconds off Norris’ pace. Verstappen finished his lap with a time of 1:16.013, the fastest so far in the session.

Piastri then topped Verstappen’s sector one. However, he lost some time to Verstappen in the middle sector. He finished his lap with a 1:15.940 on the soft compound tyres. Then, Russell jumped up to P3 on his next hot lap. At this point, it was Piastri P1, Verstappen P2, and Russell P3.

Sainz crossed the line for P3, 0.075 seconds off Verstappen’s time.  With seven minutes left of Q1, neither Williams driver had set a time due to lap deletions. Logan Sargeant ran wide into the gravel during his lap, causing a brief yellow flag.

With six minutes to go, Norris set a 1:15.915 for P1. Meanwhile, Alonso carried too much speed in the run down to the Villeneuve chicane and went off-track into the gravel.

The Aston Martin driver was in the danger zone in P16. Joining him in the elimination positions were Nico Hulkenberg in P17, Zhou in P18, and the two Williams drivers at the bottom of the table.

Albon finished his quick lap with a 1:16.5 for P12, demoting Kevin Magnussen to the elimination zone. On Alonso’s next flying lap, he was struggling to get his AMR24 to respond, setting yellow sector times. He bailed on his attempt.

With a minute to go, Zhou failed to get himself out of Q1 elimination setting a time that was 16th fastest. Hulkenberg then set a purple middle sector, crossing the line in P1 with a 1:15.841. The Haas driver has never driven in F1 at Imola before, making his performance that much more impressive.

Verstappen set a purple first sector followed by a yellow second sector due to a mistake. However, he was able to go fastest with a 1:15.762.

Both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda set quick times in the RB cars – the former in P9 and the latter in P4.

The FIA stewards noted an incident between Piastri and Magnussen. The McLaren driver impeded the Haas on his hot lap.

Eliminated in Q1

16. Valtteri Bottas
17. Logan Sargeant
18. Zhou Guanyu
19. Kevin Magnussen
20. Fernando Alonso

Q2

Hamilton was out first in the second Qualifying session, wondering on the radio where everyone else was. He was joined by his teammate, Russell who started his first flying lap. Russell set purple sectors one and two, while Hamilton set a green first sector on used softs and then topped Russell’s middle sector time. 1:16.200 was the benchmark set by Russell. Hamilton then set a 1:16.197 for P1.

Next, Albon set a 1:16.921 for P3. Meanwhile, Verstappen was flying with purple first and second sectors. He went wide at the apex of the second Rivazza due to the tailwind. However, he finished his lap with a time of 1:15.386. Then, on used softs, Perez set a P2 time just 0.467 seconds behind his teammate. Shortly after, Hulkenberg finished his hot lap 0.721 seconds down on Perez’s time, putting him in P3.

Piastri and the Ferraris were on their flying laps. Leclerc set the fastest middle sector of the session. Sainz finished his lap for P2, to be topped with Piastri shortly after. Leclerc then flew to the top of the timesheet with a 1:15.328 lap time. Norris set a P4 lap time, 0.148 seconds behind his teammate.

Tsunoda’s pace was excellent, finishing his lap just 0.030 seconds off Leclerc’s pace, putting him in P2.

With seven minutes remaining, Leclerc was P1, Tsunoda P2, Verstappen P3, Piastri P4, and Norris P5. At the other end of the timesheet, Russell was in P11, Gasly in P12, Ocon in P12, Lance Stroll in P14, and Albon in P15 were all in the elimination zone.

With five minutes left of Q2, the cars reemerged for a second run. Albon was one of the first cars out, setting green sectors. However, the Williams driver only improved his time to achieve P12, 0.003 seconds behind Russell’s lap time.

Russell started his quick lap, followed closely by Hamilton. Both Silver Arrows drivers improved their sector one time. Ocon then completed his lap for P8. Russell got into the top ten with a P6 time, then Hamilton in P7. Hulkenberg then completed his lap for P6.

Stroll failed to get himself out of the elimination zone, finishing his lap with a P13 time. Ricciardo found time and was ninth fastest with other drivers still to finish. Sainz then demoted Ricciardo down to P10, setting a P6 time.

Perez was on his final lap, with a yellow first sector and a green second. He clipped the curb during his lap and got air. Meanwhile, his teammate went fastest. Perez failed to get into Q3, setting a time for P11 – 0.015 seconds behind Ricciardo.

Eliminated in Q2

11. Sergio Perez
12. Esteban Ocon
13. Lance Stroll
14. Alex Albon
15. Pierre Gasly

Q3

On new tyres, Verstappen started his first flying lap of Q3. Norris was close behind in the McLaren. The track temperature had fallen five degrees since the start of Qualifying. The slightly cooler temperature seemed to be favouring Versteppen’s RB20. However, Norris then went faster in the second sector.

1:14.869 was the benchmark set by Verstappen. Norris then set a 1:14.942 for P2, followed by Tsunoda in P3 with 1:15.465.

Piastri set the best final sector and set the third fastest time, followed by Sainz for P4. Leclerc topped Piastri’s time, 0.147 seconds off Norris’ pace. Meanwhile, Russell was in P6 and Hamilton in P8 on their used sets of tyres.

After the first running, Verstappen was in P1, Norris in P2, Leclerc in P3, Piastri in P4, and Sainz in P5. At the bottom of the timesheet Russell was in P6, Tsunoda in P7, Hamilton in P8, Hulkenberg in P9, and Ricciardo without a time set in P10. The cars re-entered the garages, preparing for their second run in Q3.

Sainz was the first of the top five to start his final flying lap. His teammate was just behind him. Sainz was three-tenths down on Verstappen’s time. Meanwhile, Leclerc set a yellow first sector. Leclerc then improved with a purple middle sector while Sainz continued to set green sectors.

Sainz improved his time but not his position, staying in P5. Leclerc was in the same boat, failing to improve on P3. Meanwhile, Verstappen was finding more time in the RB20, setting purple sectors. Both McLarens were down on their times but then Piastri set a purple middle sector.

Norris finished his lap with a second fastest time, 0.091 seconds behind Verstappen. Piastri topped his teammate’s time for P2. However, it was Max Verstappen back on form in Qualifying, earning his pole position for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix tomorrow.

Also, Verstappen’s Qualifying P1 in Imola marks his eighth consecutive pole position of 2024. The reigning world champion now equals Ayrton Senna’s all-time consecutive poles record.

Results of Q3

1. Max Verstappen
2. Oscar Piastri
3. Lando Norris
4. Charles Leclerc
5. Carlos Sainz
6. George Russell
7. Yuki Tsunoda
8. Lewis Hamilton
9. Daniel Ricciardo
10. Nico Hulkenberg

Qualifying classification

Featured Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter

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