Formula 1

Formula 1: Hamilton beats Red Bull duo to Imola pole

Featured image credit: @f1 official twitter

Lewis Hamilton took pole for Mercedes at Imola, as Sergio Perez upstaged Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen to qualify on the front-row for the first time in his career.

McLaren’s Lando Norris also came close to qualifying ahead of Verstappen with a stunning late effort before his lap was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Q1:

The Haas drivers were the first to set a time once qualifying got underway, with Mick Schumacher lapping faster than Nikita Mazepin.

Fellow Formula 1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda brought the red flags out before many others could get a lap in, spinning backwards into the barriers. The Japanese driver was unharmed, but his AlphaTauri machine suffered significant rear-end damage. 

Valtteri Bottas went fastest for Mercedes once the action resumed with 12-minutes remaining. The Finn lowered the benchmark on his second effort to end the session on top with a time of 1m14 672s ahead of team-mate Hamilton, Norris, Verstappen and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. 

Both Williams made it into Q2 with late-efforts, Nicholas Latifi going faster than team-mate George Russell. 

That meant the Alfa Romeo pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were knocked out, along with Formula 2 graduates Schumacher, Mazepin and Tsunoda. 

Eliminated: Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, Schumacher, Mazepin, Tsunoda.

Q2:

Hamilton led the way after his first timed lap, but he was displaced at the halfway mark by fellow Briton Norris. Williams continued to show promising pace, with George Russell sitting in 10th place early in the session.

Perez pipped Norris by 0.002s to end Q2 on top for Red Bull, with Hamilton in third ahead of Verstappen and Bottas. Despite improving on their final runs, Carlos Sainz missed out on Q3 for Ferrari on home soil, as did Russell. They were joined by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Latifi and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in being eliminated. 

Eliminated: Sainz, Russell, Vettel, Latifi, Alonso.

Q3:

Norris was the first to register a lap in the pole position shootout, but his time of 1m14.875s was soon bettered by Perez, before Hamilton topped the times with an effort of 1m14.411s

Despite being unable to improve on his final run, Hamilton stayed on top to take pole. Norris went faster than Hamilton in the first two sectors on a blistering late run but, after finishing the lap in second, had his lap time deleted and ended up 7th.

Perez held on to second, despite also not improving his time, with Verstappen in third – just 0.087s separating the top three.

Charles Leclerc was an encouraging fourth for Ferrari, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Bottas struggled for pace and ended up a lowly eighth.

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
  2. Sergio Perez, Red Bull
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
  4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
  5. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
  6. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
  7. Lando Norris, McLaren
  8. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
  9. Esteban Ocon, Alpine
  10. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

 

Featured image credit: @f1 official twitter

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