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Max Verstappen takes eight consecutive pole: 'Very special'

Published on 18 May 2024 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen took pole position for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. In an exciting qualifying in Imola Verstappen finished in every qualifying segment fastest, with a lap time of 1:14.746 the three-time world champion took his eighth consecutive pole, matching the record of Ayrton Senna. The McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris were right behind the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver and finished second and third respectively.

After qualifying Verstappen says: “A really difficult weekend so far, even this morning in free practice three. I am incredibly happy to be on pole here, I did not expect that. We made some final changes before qualifying, they made if feel a bit better and I could push a bit harder. This track is unbelievable, to be on the limit here. I touched the gravel in the last corner, the adrenaline is very high.”

Taking an eight consecutive pole and matching the record of Senna, Max responds: “It is a great start to the year, but also very special. It is thirty years since he passed away at this track. I am very pleased to get pole here. It is a nice memory to him, he was an incredible Formula 1 driver, especially in qualifying laps. A great day for me, a great day for the team, I am very happy.”

It is dry and sunny at the start of qualifying on the 4,909-meter long Imola circuit. Max sets a 1:16.013 on soft tyres in his first flying lap, putting him in first position. Not much later both McLarens of Norris and Piastri go even faster than the Dutchman. The Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz start the session on medium compound tyres and are only marginally slower than Verstappen. After a lot of hard work from the mechanics at Aston Martin, after Fernando Alonso’s crash in FP3, can he compete in qualifying. However, the Spaniard goes through the gravel in his flying lap at Tamburello, in the end he qualifies nineteenth. Verstappen improves his time to a 1:15.762, finishing Q1 as fastest. He is followed by Leclerc, who set his time on medium tyres. Dropping out after the first part of qualifying are: Valtteri Bottas (P16), Zhou Guanyu (P17), Kevin Magnussen (P18), Fernando Alonso (P19) and Logan Sargeant (P20).

Max sets a 1:15.386 in his first timed lap of Q2, putting him in third position after Leclerc and a very fast Yuki Tsunoda. A second run follows. Max sets again the fastest lap, a 1:15.176. He is followed by Leclerc and Tsunoda. Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez cannot set a time in the top ten and finishes eleventh. The other dropouts are Esteban Ocon (P12), Lance Stroll (P13), Alexander Albon (P14) and Pierre Gasly (P15).

Max immediately sets the fastest time in Q3, a 1:14.869. Norris follows only 73 thousandths of a second slower, with Leclerc in third position. One more flying lap follows. Max improves his time to a 1:14.746, putting him on pole position. Besides his eighth consecutive pole position, it is also his seventh pole of the first seven races this season, matching the record of Alain Prost from 1993. Oscar Piastri finishes second, only 74 thousandths of a second slower than Verstappen. McLaren teammate Norris finishes third. The Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz finish in front of the Tifosi in P4 and P5, with Russell in P6. Yuki Tsunoda, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, and Nico Hulkenberg complete the top ten.

Sunday at 15:00 the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will start.

Contest GP Imola: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results qualifying Emilia-romagna:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:15.7621:15.1761:14.746
2Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:15.9401:15.4071:14.820
3Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:15.9151:15.3711:14.837
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:15.8231:15.3281:14.970
5Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:16.0151:15.5121:15.233
6George RussellRUSMercedes1:16.1071:15.6711:15.234
7Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:15.8941:15.3581:15.465
8Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:16.6041:15.6771:15.504
9Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:16.0601:15.6911:15.674
10Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:15.8411:15.5691:15.980
11Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:16.4041:15.706
12Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:16.3611:15.906
13Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:16.4581:15.992
14Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:16.5241:16.200
15Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:16.0151:16.381
16Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:16.626
17Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:16.834
18Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:16.854
19Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:16.917
0Logan SargeantSARWilliams MercedesDNF