Report: Hamilton secures 99th F1 pole position, Perez beats Verstappen

17-04-2021 14:11 | Updated: 17-04-2021 14:30
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Report: Hamilton secures 99th F1 pole position, Perez beats Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton has qualified on pole position for the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. The British driver continues his strong start to the season after winning the opening race in Bahrain three weeks ago. Sergio Perez (P2) out-qualified Max Verstappen who will start from third. Less than 0.100 seconds splits the top three. 

The British driver now has 99 pole positions to his name. Imola becomes the 30th different circuit where Hamilton has recorded this feat, extending the record. The seven-time World Champion will be attempting to win his second Grand Prix in Imola, after winning at this venue last season.

After the first run in Q3, Hamilton found himself at the top of the timesheets by 0.091 seconds from Verstappen. Perez was right behind Verstappen, but Bottas made a mistake during his lap. Bottas struggled to improve in the second run and will start from P8. 

Leclerc will start from P4, ahead of Pierre Gasly. The two McLaren drivers start 6th and 7th with Ricciardo beating Norris. Bottas is in P8, with Ocon and Stroll rounding out the top 10. 

Q1

15 minutes before the start of the session, the Formula 1 paddock paused for a minute silence to remember Prince Philip who died last weekend at the age of 99. The qualifying session was brought forward by an hour to avoid a clash with his funeral this afternoon. 

After just five minutes, Yuki Tsunoda crashed at turn 15 and badly damaged the rear of his car. This caused the first red flag stoppage of qualifying in 2021. 

Both Williams drivers managed to escape from Q1. Mick Schumacher out qualified Nikita Mazepin, but neither were good enough to escape the drop zone. The two Haas drivers joined both Alfa Romeo cars and Tsunoda in the elimination zone. 

OUT 

16th - Raikkonen, 17th - Giovinazzi, 18th - Schumacher, 19th - Mazepin, 20th - Tsunoda 

Q2

The two Mercedes drivers emerged from the pits with the medium tyres. They were joined by Verstappen but Perez opted to use the soft tyres. Perhaps Red Bull Racing are edging on the side of caution after missing out in qualifying three weeks ago. 

Lando Norris went to the top of the timesheets, but he was using the soft tyres in comparison to Mercedes and Verstappen. In comparison, Ricciardo found himself in the danger zone at the halfway point but he escaped to P8. 

Fernando Alonso was out-qualified by a teammate for the first time since Malaysia 2017 after he failed to make it out of Q2. After a brilliant Friday practice, Carlos Sainz is left disappointed with P11. 

OUT

11th - Sainz, 12th - Russell, 13th - Vettel, 14th - Latifi, 15th - Alonso

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