Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 17, 2024 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 News: Verstappen wins exciting pole for Emilia Romagna GP

Much to the despair of the Tifosi, Red Bull ace Max Verstappen has won the pole for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP Formula 1 race around the tricky Imola circuit.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

It was Verstappen’s 8th straight pole in a row in a sensational effort after struggling so bad on Friday. It was Max’s 39th career F1 pole. He ties the late great Ayrton Senna with a record 8 straight pole positions.

How good is Verstappen?  His teammate, Sergio Perez in the identical Red Bull Honda, was eliminated in Q2, over 1/2 second slower than Verstappen.

Max Verstappen ties Ayryton Senna for the most consecutive poles in F1 history – 8

“Really difficult weekend so far, even this morning. Really happy to be on pole, I didn’t expect that. We made some final changes just before qualifying and I could push a bit more. The adrenaline is very, very high.

“It’s a great start to the year, but it’s very special as it’s 30 years since [Senna died] very pleased to get pole here, it is very special.”

Oscar Piastri was 2nd for McLaren, 0.074s behind Verstappen, in the closest qualifying session of the year.

“A little bit of a scruffy last corner but around here it is so, so hard to do a perfect lap. So, so close to pole but so happy – it’s been a little while since I was last up here.

“I think yes [we can fight for the win]. You can never count out Max and Red Bull but confidence is high.”

Lando Norris was a close 3rd in the #4 McLaren just 0.091s behind. “P3 is not a bad job at all, within a tenth both of us of P1 so tiny, tiny margins. We’ve had a great day, a great weekend so far and Oscar has done a great job.

“We are getting closer, to be ahead of Ferrari is also a nice result for us. Going to be a tough race.”

The best Ferrari was Charles Leclerc in 4th, 0224s behind the Dutchman – not the result Ferrari was looking for in front of their Italian fans.

Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top-5 in the #55 Ferrari, also not able to touch Verstappen.

Tomorrow’s 63 lap Grand Prix might have Verstappen on pole, but there are plenty of variables to consider.

If McLaren do start with two cars in the top three (Piastri may get a penalty for blocking another driver), they could try and to team together against Red Bull and throw alternate strategies at Verstappen. It should be a one-stop race such is the length of the pit lane here, but you never know.

McLaren’s race pace looked very strong yesterday, while Red Bull’s is a slight unknown such were their struggles yesterday.

2024 Emilia Romagna GP Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Nat. Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m15.762s 1m15.176s 1m14.746s
2 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m15.940s 1m15.407s 1m14.820s
3 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m15.915s 1m15.371s 1m14.837s
4 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m15.823s 1m15.328s 1m14.970s
5 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m16.015s 1m15.512s 1m15.233s
6 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m16.107s 1m15.671s 1m15.234s
7 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Visa Cash App RB F1 Team 1m15.894s 1m15.358s 1m15.234s
8 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m16.604s 1m15.677s 1m15.465s
9 Daniel Ricciardo AUS Visa Cash App RB F1 Team 1m16.060s 1m15.691s 1m15.504s
10 Nico Hulkenberg GER MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m15.841s 1m15.569s 1m15.674s
11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m16.404s 1m15.706s 1m15.980s
12 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m16.361s 1m15.906s
13 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team 1m16.458s 1m15.992s
14 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing 1m16.524s 1m16.200s
15 Pierre Gasly FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m16.015s 1m16.381s
16 Valtteri Bottas FIN Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber 1m16.626s
17 Zhou Guanyu CHN Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber 1m16.834s
18 Kevin Magnussen DEN MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m16.854s
19 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team 1m16.917s
20 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing No Time Set


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