Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes pole in Imola F1

Lewis Hamilton took his 99th Formula 1 pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola for Mercedes on Saturday, the second round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Hamilton will start ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.

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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton on pole from Perez

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'14.411  
2 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'14.446 0.035
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'14.498 0.087
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'14.740 0.329
5 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1'14.790 0.379
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1'14.826 0.415
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'14.875 0.464
8 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'14.898 0.487
9 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'15.210 0.799
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin    
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'15.199 0.788
12 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 1'15.261 0.850
13 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1'15.394 0.983
14 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'15.593 1.182
15 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 1'15.593 1.182
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1'15.974 1.563
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'16.122 1.711
18 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 1'16.279 1.868
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 1'16.797 2.386
20 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri    

What happened in Q1? 

In the first session, when all cars were on track together, Lance Stroll set the early pace for Aston Martin at 1m16.082s but an early red flag was required for Yuki Tsunoda, who piled his AlphaTauri backwards into the tyrewall at Variante Alta.

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The session restarted with 12 minutes remaining on the clock, with 15 cars yet to set a time. Verstappen took over at the top with 1m15.109s but Bottas dipped into the 1m14s bracket with 1m14.926s and then 1m14.672s on his second push lap, with Hamilton making it a Merc 1-2.

Falling at the first hurdle were the Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, and the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin (who caused an angry Giovinazzi to abort his final run), along with the sidelined Tsuonda.

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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Q1 results: Bottas fastest from Hamilton

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas 9 1'14.672  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 10 1'14.823 0.151
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris 6 1'15.009 0.337
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen 6 1'15.109 0.437
5 France Esteban Ocon 8 1'15.385 0.713
6 Mexico Sergio Perez 6 1'15.395 0.723
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 10 1'15.406 0.734
8 Monaco Charles Leclerc 7 1'15.413 0.741
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel 8 1'15.459 0.787
10 Canada Lance Stroll 8 1'15.522 0.850
11 France Pierre Gasly 7 1'15.548 0.876
12 Canada Nicholas Latifi 8 1'15.653 0.981
13 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 9 1'15.669 0.997
14 United Kingdom George Russell 10 1'15.826 1.154
15 Spain Fernando Alonso 8 1'15.832 1.160
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen 10 1'15.974 1.302
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 9 1'16.122 1.450
18 Germany Mick Schumacher 12 1'16.279 1.607
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 12 1'16.797 2.125
20 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 2    

What happened in Q2?

In Q2, the pole position-hunting protagonists ran on the medium tyre – as each car will start on the rubber used in this session. On the first runs, Hamilton set the benchmark at 1m14.817s, 0.067s quicker than Verstappen.

McLaren’s Lando Norris went straight for the softs, zooming straight to the top on 1m14.718s.  Red Bull’s Sergio Perez ran on a second set of softs, producing 1m14.716s to end the session in P1.

Knocked out at this point were Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, whose scruffy final lap cost him a place in Q3, George Russell (Williams), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Q2 results: Perez fastest from Norris

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Mexico Sergio Perez 12 1'14.716  
2 United Kingdom Lando Norris 9 1'14.718 0.002
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc 13 1'14.808 0.092
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 17 1'14.817 0.101
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen 14 1'14.884 0.168
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas 16 1'14.905 0.189
7 France Pierre Gasly 15 1'14.927 0.211
8 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 15 1'15.033 0.317
9 France Esteban Ocon 14 1'15.117 0.401
10 Canada Lance Stroll 14 1'15.138 0.422
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 16 1'15.199 0.483
12 United Kingdom George Russell 16 1'15.261 0.545
13 Germany Sebastian Vettel 14 1'15.394 0.678
14 Canada Nicholas Latifi 14 1'15.593 0.877
15 Spain Fernando Alonso 14 1'15.593 0.877

What happened in Q3?

In the top-10 shootout, Hamilton set the bar at 1m14.411s, 0.091s ahead of Verstappen – who had a poor first sector but was fastest in the other two. Perez was third after his first run, a quarter of a second off the pace, with Bottas down in sixth – behind Norris and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – after a big slide at the Tamburello chicane.

On the final runs, Hamilton just failed to improve, while Norris lit up the timing screens with a fantastic lap that put him second to Hamilton by 0.043s – but lost the time due to exceeding track limits.

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Perez then went P2, 0.035s off pole, with Verstappen only third – 0.087s slower than the fastest time after he ran onto the grass exiting Tamburello. Leclerc took fourth, ahead of Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), the unlucky Norris, the surprisingly tardy Bottas (who was on pole here last year but said he couldn't trust the rear end of his car this time), Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Stroll.

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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Q3 results: Hamilton fastest from Perez

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'14.411  
2 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 6 1'14.446 0.035
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'14.498 0.087
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 6 1'14.740 0.329
5 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 6 1'14.790 0.379
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 6 1'14.826 0.415
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 6 1'14.875 0.464
8 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 6 1'14.898 0.487
9 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 6 1'15.210 0.799
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 6    
 
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