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Valtteri Bottas snatches pole from Lewis Hamilton

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Valtteri Bottas pipped pole from Lewis Hamilton in Imola, with Max Verstappen in 3rd.

Valtteri Bottas snatched pole position from Lewis Hamilton by 0.097s for the 15th pole of his career.

The British driver took provisional pole after the first set of laps, going 0.031s faster than Bottas, but the Finn found a 1/10th in his time at sector one and marginally nicked Hamilton to pole.

Max Verstappen will start in 3rd and second row of the grid after a tough qualifying session. The Dutchman suffered a loss of power at the beginning of Q2, forcing the Red Bull mechanics to rush to get his car fixed and manage with three minutes left on the clock. 

Pierre Gasly will join Verstappen on the second row for his career best-equalling qualifying position in 4th. AlphaTauri, who are racing at their home Grand Prix, had electric pace through qualifying with Danil Kyvatt starting from 8th. 

Daniel Riccardo will start ahead of Alex Albon in 5th after the Red Bull driver struggled with track limits, having seven lap times deleted in the one-hour session and spun in Q2, just avoiding the wall. 

Charles Leclerc pushed his Ferrari to 7th on the grid for tomorrow’s race, as the two McLaren’s roundup top 10 – Lando Norris in 9th and Carlos Sainz in 10th.

Track limits dominate Q1 and Q2

Racing Point, who has been the surprise package of 2020, failed to get in Q3 after a late lap by Norris pushed Perez down to 11th, whereas Lance Stroll will start in 15th after his final lap was deleted for exceeding track limits. 

George ‘Mr Saturday’ Russell fully captured his name once again in qualifying, progressing to Q2 for the eighth time this season. The British driver, who confirmed was staying at Williams next season after speculation was growing, was actually fastest in sector one on his final lap and was 13th fastest, only 0.294 seconds from 10th.

Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel rounded off the five eliminations in Q2, with the Frenchman in 12th and Vettel in 14th after his final lap was also deleted for exceeding track limits.

The two Haas’ will start 16th and 17th on the grid tomorrow after Kevin Magnussen went into the gravel at the final corner on his final flying lap which saw him not improve on his time. Whereas his teammate, Romain Grosjean, went 0.021 seconds faster but couldn’t progress into Q2. 

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen thought he was into Q2 after a fantastic final lap, but his time was deleted for exceeding track limits, which caused havoc for even Bottas and Albon in Q1. The Finn’s lap was faster than Russell, but will instead start in 18th for Sunday’s race. 

Unfortunately, Nicholas Latifi couldn’t match his teammate pace in Q1 and was out-qualified for 13th time this season, as the Candian starts in 19th. Finishing ahead of Antonio Giovanzzi in the Alfa Romeo, who will start at the back of the grid after he described his final lap as ‘terrible’. 

Qualifying result – Top 10

1st – Valtteri Bottas

2nd – Lewis Hamilton

3rd – Max Verstappen

4th – Pierre Gasly

5th – Daniel Riccardo

6th – Alex Albon

7th – Charles Leclerc

8th – Danil Kyvatt

9th – Lando Norris

10th – Carlos Sainz

11th – Sergio Perez

12th – Esteban Ocon

13th – George Russell

14th – Sebastian Vettel

15th – Lance Stroll

 

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