F1 2020 Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas pips Hamilton for the pole in Imola
Valtteri Bottas took the 15th pole of his career in Imola, beating his teammate Lewis Hamilton by a mere tenth of a second. The other cars could not get close to the silver arrows, but Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, and the track limits provided some excitement in the qualifying.
Highlighting the lack of Friday practices, most cars got out onto the track early. It was apparent that traffic would play a role in the qualifying, as Valtteri Bottas was forced to scrap his first try as he ran into traffic in the final corners. Max Verstappen and Kimi Räikkönen were also victims of traffic on their opening timed laps.
Renault and Daniel Ricciardo took a different approach to Q1, with the Australian going for his out lap with only eight minutes left in the session. Ricciardo performs well and qualifies easily to Q2.
Valtteri Bottas and Alex ALbon were under a lot of pressure on their final tries, as their lap times from earlier were deleted due to exceeding track limits. Both of them managed to save themselves through to Q2.
Williams’ George Russell continued to impress everyone as he made it to Q2 yet again, on P14. The AlphaTauris also managed well in the first session, Gasly and Kvyat finishing the session on 4th and 9th respectively
The Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris all opted for the medium tires. It was clear the Ferraris were not fast enough on the tire and they had to come in for mediums. Verstappen was unable to even get a lap on the medium tire, as he suffered an engine issue, forcing him to return to the pits. The Red Bull mechanics started hustling around his engine to get him back out on track with less than ten minutes to go in Q2. The first try was not much better for Red Bulls second man, as Alex Albon had a spin and was lucky not to hit the wall.
With four minutes to go the cars returned onto the track for their final tries. Verstappen was fitted with mediums regardless of him lacking a time in Q2. He managed to climb up to fifth, just behind his teammate who got 4th on a set of soft tires.
Both Mercedes were commandingly the top 2 in the session, as Racing Point’s surprisingly faulter with Perez 11th and Stroll 15th. Sebastian Vettel also had a lackluster day, finishing 14th. The AlphaTauri duo kept up their performance from Q1, both making it through to Q3.
All ten cars were quick to leave the pits in the beginning of Q3. Mercedes quickly wiped out any hopes of a challenger, with Hamilton setting an impressive 1:13.781 with Bottas close behind with 1:13.812. Verstappen was unarmed, a solid seven tenths behind Hamilton after the first tries. Hamilton did go wide in the last corner, bringing gravel onto the track for the others to navigate through. Albon suffered another deleted time as he exceeded track limits in Turn 9.
In their last tries, Hamilton improved slightly, but the polesitter for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is Valtteri Bottas, as the Finn took pole by 97 thousands-of-a-second. Verstapped secured third, but will be accompanied in the second row by his former teammate Pierre Gasly on 4th place, continuing his impressive efforts of this season with a strong qualifying in Imola. Albon recovered to 6th place, as Charles Leclerc brought Ferrari a lukewarm 7th place, under the watchful eyes of Ferrari CEO Louis Camillieri.
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||0.567s|
|6||23||Alex Albon||Red Bull Racing||0.963s|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1:15.061|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:15.494|
|18||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:15.953|
|20||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:16.208|
Grid Talk Podcast
Want more reaction to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying? Host Louis Edwards with panelists Owain Medford, Jack Watson and Philip Mathew stared in Grid Talk’s Emilia Romagna GP Qualfying Analysis: