Photo: Mercedes F1 team
Lewis Hamilton has won a thrilling battle for pole position for the Emilia-Romagna GP. At the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Hamilton was barely a few thousandths faster in the Mercedes than both Red Bull drivers.
During the last practice session, Max Verstappen set the fastest time and the Dutchman went into qualifying as the favorite for the pole position. However, it was the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda who, just like during the first race weekend, started to run with a lot of attention.
Unfortunately for the Japanese F1 rookie this time it was not with impressive results but with a heavy crash. Tsunoda lost control of his AlphaTauri F1 car and landed hard with the rear in the tire wall. The AlphaTauri mechanics already know what to do: spend hours tinkering with Tsunoda’s F1 car.
There were more than enough minutes left on the clock to set a fast lap, even if everyone had to watch out for the track limits. After all, several riders’ lap times were scrapped.
At the end of the first qualifying section, we found both Mercedes drivers at the very top, although it was clear that Verstappen was keeping something to hand.
At the end of the second qualifying period we saw the lap times drop significantly and it was Sergio Perez who ended the session fastest with just 0.002 seconds ahead of Lando Norris. Charles Leclerc followed in third place ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
Notable dropouts were Carlos Sainz, who clearly went all out in the Ferrari based on the image below, Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso in the Alpine. However, it was mainly looking forward to a super exciting battle for the pole position in Q3.
In Q3 we first saw Sergio Perez drive to the provisional best time, but Lewis Hamilton dived under the Mexican’s time in the Mercedes. Max Verstappen seemed to be on his way to the provisional pole position, but eventually stranded 0.091 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton. However, we got a second ultimate attempt.
Lewis Hamilton did not improve his lap time on his second attempt, but did conquer pole position. Max Verstappen did improve his time but stranded at 87 thousandths of Hamilton and the pole position. Verstappen was even beaten by his teammate because Sergio Perez went just a bit faster but, like Verstappen, was just not fast enough for pole.
The first three drivers are therefore a handful of thousandths apart, that promises to be a super exciting race tomorrow.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:14.823s 1:14.817s 1:14.411s
2 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1: 15.395s 1: 14.716s 1: 14.446s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:15.109s 1:14.884s 1:14.498s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1: 15.413s 1: 14.808s 1: 14.740s
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:15.548s 1:14.927s 1:14.790s
6 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:15.669s 1:15.033s 1:14.826s
7 Lando Norris McLaren 1: 15.009s 1: 14.718s 1: 14.875s
8 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:14.672s 1:14.905s 1:14.898s
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:15.385s 1:15.117s 1:15.210s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:15.522s 1:15.138s
11 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1: 15.406s 1: 15.199s
12 George Russell Williams 1:15.826s 1:15.261s
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:15.459s 1:15.394s
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:15.653s 1:15.593s
15 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:15.832s 1:15.593s
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1: 15.974s
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1: 16.122s
18 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:16.279s
19 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:16.797s
20 Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri
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