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Imola Grand Prix: Verstappen takes pole for Sprint amid red flags

Reining World Champion Max Verstappen set a blistering qualifying lap even as red flags waved around him time and again.

Imola Grand Prix: Verstappen takes pole for Sprint amid red flags
Author
Imola, First Published Apr 22, 2022, 10:38 PM IST

Ferrari and Red Bull squared off on a cold, damp evening in Bologna, Italy for the podium position for Saturday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Sprint race. Reining World Champion Max Verstappen set a blistering qualifying lap even as red flags waved around him.

Here is how the session unfolded:

* Carlos Sainz crashed his Ferrari into the wall at around 80 miles an hour in the second qualifying session. However, his teammate Charles Leclerc managed to push his Ferrari to the second spot on the grid. Sainz will be starting the Sprint from the 10th position.

* Alex Albon set the track on fire literally after a rear brake issue sent burning bits of carbon fibre from his Williams car all over the tarmac. Williams race engineers have a lot of midnight oil to burn as Albon's teammate, Nicholas Latifi, had faced a similar issue earlier this year during the testing phase. Williams later downplayed the incident and denied any links between the two incidents.

* Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton had yet another disappointing outing on the racetrack with the seven-time champion scraping through to the second qualifying session along with his teammate George Russell. But the rain and Mercedes's pace ensured that Russell and Hamilton start from the 11th and 13th positions respectively.

* Alpha Tauri's home race turned out to be a damp squib with both Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly crashing out of the first qualifying session. They will be lining up in the 16th and 17th positions on the grid for Sunday's race.

* McLaren's Lando Norris was the last of the top 10 to end up in the wall. Norris spun at the same spot where Kevin Magnussen took his Haas racing car for a spin. Lando starts Saturday's Sprint at the third position followed by the fourth spot for Magnussen -- the best ever qualifying result for Haas. But Lando's spin brought the curtains down on Ferrari's attempts to take pole position on a last flying lap and the qualifying session.

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