Emilia Romagna GP – Qualifying Report

Valtteri Bottas claims pole ahead of the race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, a place where formula 1 hadn’t held a race since 2006. The rest of the top three was comprised of the usual suspects with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen coming in second and third respectively.  Tomorrow’s race will prove pivotal for the championship as should Lewis Hamilton outscore Max Verstappen by more than ten points the Dutchman will then be mathematically incapable of taking the championship away from Hamilton leaving Mercedes teammate Bottas as only title contender. 

The narrow track proved challenging as several drivers had their lap times deleted for exceeding track limits throughout the qualifying most notably Alexander Albon. The Thai driver has of recent been the subject of intense scrutiny for failing to match the pace of Redbull teammate Max Verstappen. This failure was perhaps highlighted by the man Albon replaced at Redbull Pierre Gasly who has been stellar throughout this year and at Imola qualified in P4, a position that Redbull would undoubtedly have preferred Albon had been on instead the he struggled to qualify in sixth behind Daniel Ricciardo.

Sunday’s race will also be another chapter to the unravelling saga that is the battle for third place in the Constructor’s Championship with Racing Point, McLaren and Renault all within six points of each other with Racing Point leading the three teams heading into the race albeit having a bad start to the weekend with both of their drivers failing to qualify beyond Q2 and thus Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll will start eleventh and fifteenth respectively, in constrant both McLaren drivers made it into the top ten with Norris in P9 and Sainz in P10 and as mentioned “the honey badger” will start the race from P6 where as his French teammate Esteban Ocon also failed to get into the top ten qualifying twelfth. 

Scuderia Alpha Tauri proved resilience in their home turf as both drivers went into Q3 with Daniil Kvyat qualifying in P8 behind Charles Leclerc who represents the other Italian outfit of Scuderia Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel the other Ferrari driver failed to make it out of Q2 as well qualifying in P14 behind “Mr Saturday” George Russell who extends his record of outqualifying a teammate to thirty four, it was announced on Friday that Williams would retain the Briton and on Saturday he showed why.

The bottom five were comprised of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen of Haas who will both be out of a drive next year, Kimi Raikkonen and  Antonio Giovinazzi who retained their seats were P18 and P20 with Nicholas Latifi splitting the Alfa Romeos.

Tomorrow’s grid will line up as follows 
1. Valtteri Bottas 
2. Lewis Hamilton 
3. Max Verstappen 
4. Pierre Gasly 
5. Daniel Ricciardo 
6. Alexander Albon 
7. Charles Leclerc 
8. Daniil Kvyat 
9. Lando Norris 
10. Carlos Sainz 
11. Sergio Perez 
12. Esteban Ocon 
13. George Russell 
14. Sebastian Vettel 
15. Lance Stroll 
16. Romain Grosjean 
17. Kevin Magnussen 
18. Kimi Raikkonen 
19. Nicholas Latifi 
20. Antonio Giovinazzi 

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