Max Verstappen Claims Surprising Pole Position at Imola

May 18, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

In qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Max Verstappen claimed yet another pole position in what seemingly was a session that would not go his way. Beating out Oscar Piastri who finish FP3 fastest Verstappen edges out pole position by a 0.074s margin. To make matters worse for Piastri, he also received a 3 grid place penalty for impeding earlier in qualifying; negatively impacting Kevin Magnussen. regardless it was a generally successful day for McLaren finishing 2-3 before the penalty.

Paistri had the following words after the penalty. “I’m really happy with the performance today. We were so close to pole on track. I’ve been really comfortable with the car from the moment we put it on track yesterday and I am enjoying my first GP weekend here. We’ve definitely been on the pace all weekend and the confidence is high. It is a shame to lose the front row and having to start from P5 as it’s not the easiest track to overtake on. However, we will try our best to recover some positions and fight to finish on the podium.”

His Teammate Lando Norris stated, “As a team we’ve had a very good day – and a good weekend so far. P3 is not a bad job at all and both of us are within a tenth of pole – tiny, tiny margins. Oscar’s done a great job, and so did Max. It’s going to be a good race tomorrow. It’ll be exciting in the car and hopefully exciting to watch. A lot of it will be down to Turn 1, Lap 1, getting the right strategy, and having good pit stops. We’re close, it’s very exciting and I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Mercedes Continues to Struggle

Both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton failed to make it into the top 5 in Q3. It’s clear that the McLarens have leapfrogged Mercedes in 2024 performance. Team principal Toto Wolf Had the Following comments, “When you look at the gap to the front, and our closest competitors around us, you can see progress. P6 and P8 are not the positions we want to be. We’ve been saying that for a while, but we can see the advantage others have closing. It takes time to do that, so we must be patient and that’s the reality at the moment.
We know we have developments in the pipeline that will improve the balance of the car. Even though our positions today are not good enough, we are pointing in the right direction. Tomorrow, we will be focused on maximizing the package we currently have and aiming to score some decent points.”

Full Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Qualifying

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:15.7621:15.1761:14.746
281Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:15.9401:15.4071:14.820
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:15.9151:15.3711:14.837
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:15.8231:15.3281:14.970
555Carlos SainzFERRARI1:16.0151:15.5121:15.233
663George RussellMERCEDES1:16.1071:15.6711:15.234
722Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:15.8941:15.3581:15.465
844Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:16.6041:15.6771:15.504
93Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:16.0601:15.6911:15.674
1027Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:15.8411:15.5691:15.980
1111Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:16.4041:15.706
1231Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:16.3611:15.906
1318Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:16.4581:15.992
1423Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:16.5241:16.200
1510Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:16.0151:16.381
1677Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:16.626
1724Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:16.834
1820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:16.854
1914Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:16.917