F1 qualifying LIVE: Result and grid positions from rainy Imola as Max Verstappen takes pole for sprint race and Lewis Hamilton struggles

F1 qualifying LIVE: Result and grid positions from rainy Imola as Max Verstappen takes pole for sprint race and Lewis Hamilton struggles

Sainz Jnr handed new Ferrari contract as F1 heads to Imola

Max Verstappen will start Saturday’s sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on pole position after both Mercedes cars failed to make it through to Q3 for the first time in almost 10 years at Imola on Friday evening.

After Carlos Sainz’s crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain began to pour and brought wet conditions for the remainder of the session, leaving both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell eliminated as they opted to not risk a further lap in the rain.

It marked the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2012 that Mercedes failed to have a car finish in the top 10 of qualifying as their early season struggles continued, with Toto Wolff saying his team’s issues with ‘porpoising’ were their worst yet this year .

At the other end of the field, Verstappen will start ahead of Charles Leclerc after he held on to provisional pole in a rain-soaked and red flag-hit qualifying session. Verstappen clocked a faster time than Leclerc just as Valtteri Bottas pulled up off the track to trigger the fifth red flag of the session, while Lando Norris took a surprise third.

Follow all the reaction from qualifying at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix below:

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What is a sprint race in F1 and how does qualifying work?

Following its success in 2021 Formula One season, the F1 Commission has approved plans to run the F1 sprint format at three Grand Prix weekends this season.

As it was last year, the F1 sprint is a 100km dash with no mandatory pit stops and drivers racing flat-out to the checked flag.

F1 sprint was introduced last season with the result determining the grid for the weekend’s main event, the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:40

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Problem that caused Max Verstappen retirement in Australia has been fixed, insists Christian Horner

It was the second time Verstappen didn’t finish a race this season due to faults with his car. The defending champion is in sixth in the driver standings as a result and the Red Bull star will have to rebuild his season from the Imola race on Sunday.

“We’ve been working with our colleagues at HRC in Japan, and they found the issue and they resolved it,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:30

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Lewis Hamilton explains heated qualifying discussion with Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton was involved in a heated discussion with Toto Wolff after a poor qualifying performance ensured he will start Saturday’s Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 13th on the grid.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton scraped out of Q1 by just four thousandths of a second before Carlos Sainz crashed out and then the rain arrived in Q2.

The newly-damp track meant Hamilton could not improve on his sole lap, leaving him with a woeful grid slot for Saturday’s 21-lap dash around Imola – the finishing order of which determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:22

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George Russell broke part of car interior during Imola practice due to severe ‘porpoising’

Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton had issues with bouncing on their first outing at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Wolff said the issue is the worst he has ever seen it and that the cars aren’t “drivable”.

“W had George bouncing so much that he actually broke the stay on the floor,” Wolff told Sky, “You can’t drive [down the main straight] – you have to lift on the straight.”

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:12

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Full qualifying results

Max Verstappen has pole with Lewis Hamilton down in 13th position for the Sprint race tomorrow. Here are the full results for today’s Emilia Romagna qualifying:

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:09

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‘Frustrated’ Leclerc streets wrong choice in Q3

Charles Leclerc, who finished second in qualifying: “It was very tricky, especially on the slicks. There were quite a lot of wet patches and it was all about putting the laps in and waiting for Q3 to put it together.

“It is frustrating because when it counts in Q3 I made the wrong choice.”

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:05

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Reaction from Max Verstappen

Early on in qualifying it looked as though Ferrari could clinch a potential one-two but Max Verstappen held in their and managed to pip Charles Leclerc to pole.

“It was tricky out there with the dry/rain. It was very slippery. It was hectic, a long qualifying but of course in the end happy to be here. It is an amazing track and it really punishes you if you make a mistake.” said Verstappen at the end of Q3

“I am really pleased with pole. It will be different weather at the weekend but a good start. Our first three races in general didn’t go to plan but we will try to have a good weekend here.”

Michael Jones22 April 2022 18:00

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‘How far off are we? This is crazy’: Lewis Hamilton reveals qualifying frustration over team radio

Lewis Hamilton’s struggles at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix continued as both Mercedes cars failed to advance to the final session of qualifying for the first time in almost 10 years at Imola.

Hamilton only managed to scrape to the second session of qualifying, coming in 15th by just 0.004s, and that is where his day ended. The seven-time world champion finished 13th and Mercedes’ problems were compounded as George Russell finished 11th, also failing to make it through to the top-10 shootout.

After Carlos Sainz crashed into the wall to trigger a red flag, both Hamilton and Russell decided not to go back out to the track during Q2 on wet tyres. Hamilton had let his frustrations known over the radio team in Q1, saying: “How far off are we, man? This is crazy.”

Michael Jones22 April 2022 17:55

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Max Verstappen beats Charles Leclerc to pole for Imola sprint race as both Mercedes cars fail to make Q3

Max Verstappen will start Saturday’s sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on pole position after both Mercedes cars failed to make it through to Q3 for the first time in almost 10 years at Imola on Friday evening.

After Carlos Sainz’s crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain began to pour and brought wet conditions for the remainder of the session, leaving both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell eliminated as they opted to not risk a further lap in the rain.

It marked the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2012 that Mercedes failed to have a car finish in the top 10 of qualifying as their early season struggles continued, with Toto Wolff saying his team’s issues with ‘porpoising’ were their worst yet this year .

Michael Jones22 April 2022 17:49

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Verstappen takes pole at Imola

Michael JonesApril 22, 2022, 5:46 p.m.

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