Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took F1 pole for Emilia Romagna GP Sprint Race from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris after five red flags.


The Friday qualifying for the sprint weekend in F1 Emilia Romagna GP saw the likes of Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin and Alpine use the the slick tyres for their first run with everyone else barring Ferrari use the intermediate compound.

The Ferrari pair did not head out immediately like others but when they did, they used the dry compound as well. While others started to pit to change to dry compound, Williams’ Alexander Albon’s right-rear brakes caught fire as he limped back to the pits.

In doing so he left quite a bit of debris on track to cause a red flag. Once the session re-started, it was a game of putting in the fastest lap as late as possible in drying conditions. The lead changed hands multiple times but went to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (1m18.796s).

He comfortably led Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the Top 3, as the Mercedes duo barely made it to Q2. In fact, Lewis Hamilton was only 0.004s away from getting knocked out with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda (1m20.474s) in 16th.

It was both the AlphaTauri cars actually with teammate Pierre Gasly (1m20.732s) 17th from Williams’ Nicholas Latifi (1m21.971s) who had a spin in late stages of the session but managed to continue. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (1m22.305s) was 19th after he didn’t venture out to set a lap time for his second run due to suspected gearbox issue.


The second session in F1 Emilia Romagna GP saw a quick run from all the 15 drivers with the rain threat looming. The all got a lap in before a red flag for Sainz who crashed out at Rivazza after losing his rear into the left-hander after setting the second best time.

It was Verstappen leading Sainz, McLaren’s Lando Norris in the Top 3 when the red flag was displayed with both Mercedes outside the Top 10 as the rain arrived at Imola.The time ticked away wherein no one took a chance to venture out to start off.

Drivers did venture out but only for a citing lap than to set a lap time as Verstappen ended up fastest with a 1m18.793s lap. Mercedes’ George Russell (1m20.757s) was the first to be knocked out in 11th from Haas’ Mick Schumacher (1m20.916s).

Mercedes’ Hamilton (1m21.138s) was 13th from Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou (1m21.434s) and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m28.119s). With both Mercedes knocked out, it was the first that neither car made it to Top 10 since Suzuka of 2012.


The final part in F1 Emilia Romgana GP saw an intermediate tyre run from the nine drivers in damp but clearing conditions. There was another red flag as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen almost hit the barrier at Acque Minerali but did not hit it like Bottas in FP1.

He reversed the car and bit and managed to get out of the situation and continue on, with the re-start not far off after that. No times were set by the time red flag was waved, with the first timed lap coming from Magnussen himself after the re-start.

There was another red flag for Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas who stopped in sector three with a problem, as Verstappen went quickest with a 1m27.999s lap despite lifting off for yellow flags. Leclerc stood second from Norris, Magnussen and Alonso.

The Spaniard had his lap deleted along with Perez with both having to have another go. With the rain arriving around re-start, it was tricky for everyone. But nothing could be done even on re-start as an off for Norris ended the session under a red flag.

It was Verstappen on pole for Saturday’s F1 Emilia Romagna GP Sprint race, with Leclerc (1m28.778s) and Norris (1m29.131s) in the Top 3, where the Brit went off on the same corner as Bottas in FP1 and Magnussen in Q3.

The Dane though ended up fourth with a 1m29.164s lap from Alonso (1m29.202s) in the Top 5, as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m29.742s) was sixth with Perez (1m29.808s) seventh, Bottas (1m30.439s) eighth and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (1m31.062s) ninth as Sainz rounded out the Top 10 despite not taking part.