Max Verstappen earns first pole of the season at Imola

There was contrasting fortune for Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., who spun out at the start of Q2



Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands. (AP)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands. (AP)

By AP

Published: Sat 23 Apr 2022, 12:56 AM

Formula One champion Max Verstappen earned his first pole position of the season after an incident-packed qualifying session for the sprint race at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Friday.

There were five red flags in qualifying, including three in the final part of the session — known as Q3 — on a rain-sodden day at Imola. The last red flag cut qualifying short with Verstappen 0.779 seconds ahead of series leader Charles Leclerc and 1.132 ahead of Lando Norris.

There was contrasting fortune for Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., who spun out at the start of Q2.

There was also more disappointment for Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell went out in Q2, too. Instead of the usual three practices to get to grips with the car, there was only one practice followed by qualifying on Friday for Saturday’s sprint.

The results set the grid for Sunday’s main race and also offer points for the top eight finishers — in a slight change from last year’s debut of the format.


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