Apr.17 - Lewis Hamilton again showed the world today why he holds the record of most number of pole positions. The British driver is now only one pole position away from the unbelievable number of 100 pole positions.

This number is very special on it's own, but when you take note of the runners up number of 68 by Michael Schumacher, then it's even more epic.

Tomorrow's race will be the best starting position for the Red Bull Team since Mexico 2018. It's also been a long time since Max Verstappen was out-qualified by his teammate. The last time the Dutchman started behind his teammate was Canada 2019.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc again did a very good qualifying and starts from P4 for the second time this season. He also had a strong practice pace yesterday. It will be interesting to see if the Monegasque driver can attack the podium or not in tomorrow's GP.

Lando Norris also put in a great lap. The McLaren driver clocked a lap time of 1:14.454 min, which would have been good enough for P4. Unfortunately that lap got deleted because he had crossed track limits in turn 9 and ended up on P7 behind his teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

A lot more happened today. We have summed-up all driver comments after qualifying for you below.


Mercedes AMG Petronas MotorsportMercedes f1 info

 

Lewis Hamilton - Pole Position

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Japanese GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

"Today has been great, obviously. I definitely didn’t expect us to be ahead of the two Red Bulls. I think they’ve been so quick this weekend. There were times when they were six tenths ahead. We didn’t really know where they would be, but the car was already feeling a lot better from the beginning of this weekend, so you know, mad respect to the Team for the hard work to really narrow down the window.

This track is all medium and high speed corners, so I think that’s why we’ve closed the gap. Temperatures are much lower which has brought us closer to the Red Bulls. But they are so strong – it’s going to take absolutely perfect laps to stay ahead of them if we are going to have a chance of the win tomorrow."

 

Valtteri Bottas - P8

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Japanese GP 2018. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas

"Today was a little bit confusing and I don’t understand the Q3 performance yet. On the first run of Q3 I had oversteer and then the second run, the rear end was not so good. Not what I was aiming for today, especially with the feeling I had at the start of qualifying.

Q3 first run, I went into turn two and had a really sudden snap from the rear end and I lost a lot of time. The same in run two, I couldn’t trust the rear end. That isn’t something I felt in Q1 or Q2 so it’s difficult to understand - we will have to investigate. Overtaking here is difficult with a narrow track but I will fight to give it everything tomorrow."


Red Bull Racing F1 team info

Red Bull Racing Honda

 

Sergio Pérez - P2

"What a massive result for us, knowing that I could win the race tomorrow is definitely a good feeling. There are a lot of positives to take out of today but I made a little mistake at the final turn, I was so close to pole. I can’t believe this is my first Red Bull start on the grid, as I started from the pit lane in Bahrain and it’s from the front of the grid! It just shows the amount of work we have put into this as a Team is paying off.

Looking to the race tomorrow, Max and I are of course on different strategies, I am starting on the softs and Max is on the mediums so I think we have a good race ahead of us, especially as we’ve been able to apply the pressure to Mercedes. It was a great result for us today but we can’t get too carried away, I know that there is a lot of work to be done and it’s important that we keep making good process."

 

Max Verstappen - P3

Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing on the drivers parade before the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 17, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

Max Verstappen

"It was not a clean lap in Q3. I made some mistakes and when you go off on a qualifying lap it is never going to be good. The first sector of the first lap wasn’t good in the wake of another car so I knew there was a lot of time there and I pushed a bit more on the second lap but I ran wide on the exit of Turn 3 and cut the grass a bit which wasn’t very lovely for the lap time. Sometimes these things happen and you can’t do a perfect or near perfect lap all the time. There are always things you can do better even when you say it’s a perfect lap but today was far from that. I shocked myself that I had a lap like that as it’s been a long time since I felt this way after qualifying.

Checo did a great job so congratulations to him. We have a good race car and tomorrow is where you score points. There are a lot of factors involved in the race like the weather and the start but for the Team it’s always good to have two cars up there, so I hope me and Checo can make it more difficult for Mercedes to decide on a strategy."


ferrari f1 info

Scuderia Ferrari

 

Charles Leclerc - P4

"It was a very good qualifying, even though I feel we struggled a bit more compared to yesterday to achieve the lap times we wanted. We took a small compromise in terms of setup that will help us in the race tomorrow. It made it a bit more difficult in quali, so let’s wait and see. I made a small error in the chicane, maybe I could have gained another 7 or 8 hundredths there, but looking at the time sheets it wouldn’t have changed our position, so I am very happy with P4 today.

The track is amazing. I love it because you cannot afford to make any mistakes. There is not much tyre management involved, which is something we drivers like, because it means we can push throughout the race.

It should be an exciting but difficult race. We are lacking a bit of straight line speed, so hopefully we will have a good enough pace to get away. If not, it will be a bit more difficult, but I think that our performance overall is better here than it was in Bahrain. At Sakhir it was a real surprise to be P4 on the grid, today, a bit less so.

There is a lot of motivation in the team, a good momentum. We need to use it and continue to work as hard as possible as a team, keep our feet on the ground and continue to push as we have been doing for the past months. Then I am sure the good days are soon to come."

 

Carlos Sainz - P11

"Today’s result is not what I wanted. I struggled to nail all the corners in one single lap since the beginning of qualifying. Every small mistake can cost you many positions in this tight field, so I am not happy because I know the lap time was there had I been able to make it all work on one strong lap.

At the same time, I think this track has exposed that I still lack a bit of experience with the car to exactly know what to expect and how to extract the absolute maximum of it. It will come, I’m sure, but I feel I’m still on a learning curve.

Into tomorrow, you can be sure I’ll give my absolute best to gain positions and fight for the best result possible. I’m confident in my pace and we will try to use the free tyre choice to our advantage."


Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda

 

Pierre Gasly - P5

Pierre Gasly Wraps Up the 2020 F1 Season

Pierre Gasly

"I must say it was very good today, I’m really happy – the whole of Qualifying was a bit harder than in Bahrain, as I think quite a lot of teams have really upped the pace. I’m pleased I managed to put everything together in Q3 – it was an extremely clean lap – and to get the P5 at our home race here in Imola is a great result for the whole team.

The gaps are extremely close – I think we’re just a couple of hundredths off Charles and just three or four tenths from the top guys – so it’s a great achievement today and we’re in a good position for tomorrow. We’ve got to prepare for every situation in the race – we could have some rain tomorrow, or maybe some drama up the front, so we’ve got to be ready to capitalise on every opportunity we can."

 

Yuki Tsunoda - P20

Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GP

Yuki Tsunoda

"The crash today in Qualifying was my mistake and I want to apologise to the team – I was pushing too hard into the entry of the chicane and just couldn’t control the car after that. It’s a shame because up until that corner the car felt really good and it was a strong lap – I think we could’ve gotten through to Q2 on just one compound.

I believe there’s the potential for rain at the start of tomorrow’s race, so anything can happen, and I’ll try to push as hard as I can to make my way forward from the back. The car looks really good, so I’ll just reset my mind tonight and jump back in the car tomorrow to go racing."


McLaren F1 team infoMcLaren F1 Team

 

Daniel Ricciardo - P6

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Daniel Ricciardo

“I think on paper it’s not a bad result, P6. It’s really tight at the front. I think the weekend has been a bit slow for me to get going. We got a bit closer in quali and I certainly made some improvements, but I still think – and I hate to say it – it’s just going to take time to keep finding the limits. I’m getting there.

I obviously wish I could be there from lap one, but I think it’s been a weekend of progress so far and there are definitely positives to take after qualifying. We’ve worked well as a team to recover from a difficult Friday, so thanks to the team here and in the factory for their hard work. I wouldn’t say I'm ecstatic, but I'm certainly content with our progress.”

 

Lando Norris - P7

Lando Norris McLaren

Lando Norris

"A disappointing end to qualifying. I think the whole thing went very well and I was very happy with my laps all the way through. We only did one run in Q1 and Q2, which I think is the first time I’ve ever done that. So things were looking hopeful, but I just overdid it slightly on my final lap, which was a very good lap but just a little bit wide and the lap was taken away. Pretty disappointed, because we could’ve been a lot higher up and in a much better position for tomorrow.

"After we struggled yesterday, we've done a lot of work and the feeling in the car was much better today. The team both here and at the factory has done a great job overnight to work on improvements and give us a car that felt quick and was capable of fighting right up there and maybe even for pole. I'm gutted, but there are still a lot of positives to take away from today and hopefully we can convert them into a good result tomorrow."


Alpine F1 Team logo

Alpine F1 Team

 

Esteban Ocon - P9

Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GP

Esteban Ocon

“It’s a great result for us today. We maximised the potential of the car and I think ninth was the maximum we could do. To be in Q3 is satisfying and I’m pretty pleased with that. It’s hard to overtake here, so it’s important to be starting already in the top 10.

Our rivals are a little bit ahead and that means we still need to keep improving and finding those developments will be key this season. We’ll give it everything and fight tomorrow. The aim is to score points and we know it will be a long race where anything can happen.”

 

Fernando Alonso - P15

Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GP

Fernando Alonso

“I was not fast enough today and didn’t maximise the performance of the car. I’m disappointed in my result and let’s hope we can still get something tomorrow. It’s difficult to overtake here, but the points are given in the race so let’s see how we do.

On the other hand, Esteban did well today and showed our updates that we brought here have worked well. In Bahrain, I had a good Saturday and a bad Sunday, so hopefully that is reversed tomorrow.”


 

Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GP

Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team

 

Lance Stroll - P10

Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GP

Lance Stroll

“I am pretty happy with the session, but it is a shame that my best lap was deleted in Q3. We were in ninth so that knocked me down a place. The margins for track limits are very fine and a few drivers were caught out today. I said yesterday how much I enjoy this track and the car felt really good today – as though it has really come alive this weekend.

That is encouraging, but it is a very tight grid and we want to be closer to the front. We are all working hard to do that. We are not miles off and we know where we can improve. It will be interesting to see how we perform in the race because the long run pace yesterday looked similar to the teams around us. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

 

Sebastian Vettel - P13

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Sebastian Vettel

“Overall, I think it was a reasonable qualifying session. I think there was a little bit left on the table in some of my laps, but it is obviously very tight and a tenth or two can cost you quite a lot of positions. I feel we are making progress, but I am still missing the full confidence to extract the maximum. I am still not entirely happy, but I am happier than last time [in Bahrain].

I can see and feel the progress we are making: session by session, lap by lap, we are getting that little bit better. I do not know what to expect tomorrow because all the teams appear to be very closely matched in the middle of the grid, and it is a narrow track where overtaking is not easy. There is also the question of whether it will rain, which might help us. Regardless, we need a clean getaway tomorrow and then we can take it from there.”


Williams F1 Team info & stats

Williams Racing

 

George Russell - P12

Russell: 2020 Williams to be'evolution'

George Russell

"The car has been feeling good this weekend, personally I was off the pace all weekend and Nicholas was faster than me in every session. I was struggling and I didn’t have the confidence, but in Q2 we made it work.

We got through Q1 by the skin of our teeth and then did a really good job in Q2 when it mattered. I am really happy with P12, the car is looking quick in a straight line which is going to help us tomorrow on a track that is difficult to overtake. I think it’s going to be an exciting one."

 

NIcholas Latifi - P14

I am very pleased with today’s performance. We nearly didn’t make it out for qualifying due to my little bump with the wall in FP3. Even though we did get back out on track we still had some residual things that the team needed to check over.

We had a good Q1 and I was really pleased with the lap. Q2 I was a little disappointed as I didn’t get the improvement I needed to due to a little mistake at the beginning of my second lap. Overall, I am really pleased with the result. I am expecting the car to feel good in race trim. It is a notoriously difficult track to overtake on, but fingers crossed for a good one.


Alfa Romeo Racing LogoAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen

 

Kimi Räikkönen - P16

Raikkonen not worried about slower cars in 2021

Kimi Raikkonen

“We missed out on a place in Q2 by just a tenth, but when the margins are so close that’s enough to be out earlier than expected. We knew from the morning we were going to struggle, there was nothing wrong specifically but we just lost a bit of the pace we had yesterday.

Tomorrow we will have a big job to get back in the points: a lot will depend on the weather, whether it rains or not. Judging by yesterday, we seem to be stronger in race trim but overtaking is not easy around here: we will do our best and see what we can get out of this race.”

 

Antonio Giovinazzi - P17

Alfa Romeo confirms Antonio Giovinazzi for 2020

Antonio Giovinazzi

“It’s very disappointing not to get the chance to even set my final lap because of what happened today. Drivers normally respect each other on track but that was not the case today – Mazepin just failed to leave the space to the car ahead that all other drivers always give and destroyed my lap. I haven’t spoken with him yet, but this is not the behaviour we expect from each other on track.

It’s a shame as the pace we had in the car yesterday was really good and we could have got a good result here: we will see what we can do tomorrow, but starting from P17 is not ideal as it’s quite hard to overtake here. We still go out, be positive and try to get the best possible result – we scored points from the back of the grid in 2020 so we won’t give up yet.”


Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GPUralkali Haas F1 Team

 

Mick Schumacher - P18

Post-Quali Drivers Comments 2021 Emilia Romagna GP

Mick Schumacher

“I was pushing a lot more, but unfortunately I lost out at the Variante Alta chicane – I think there was another one or two tenths in it really. But the good thing is we know we can improve, we’re not yet at the end. We saw improvement from Bahrain, so I’m really happy seeing that for us. We’ll wait and see what happens tomorrow in the race – long runs are always a different game really. It’s hard to predict what’s been happening through the free practices, everyone’s trying different things and set-ups. I’m mindful of how Bahrain went, so I’ll take that into consideration this weekend. I’m just looking forward to driving again tomorrow.”

 

Nikita Mazepin -  P19

Nikita Mazepin completes his Haas F1 Seat Fit

Nikita Mazepin

“These qualifying sessions don’t fail to throw something new at you. Before we go out, we obviously expect to have a clean session, we have our run plan and we expect to manage our time, and then something happens early on and you’ve suddenly got less time. The stress element comes in brings the excitement. It was difficult to get the optimum lap time out there as this track was very cold today and it was important to build the tire temperatures. To do that, you need to go fast, and obviously other cars were slowing down. Loads happened but it’s an upward curve so far in my career, so I’m happy about that. I think we’re extracting the most there is for now in the car and building a good foundation.”


✅ Check out 2021 Emilia Romagna Qualifying Times & Report
✅ Check out Starting grid 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix


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