Weather: dry/wet 12.5°C
Tarmac: dry/wet 14.7°C
Wind: 2.5 m/s W
Pressure: 997.5 bar
Max Verstappen qualified as quickest for the 14th time today. The Red Bull driver scored pole position for tomorrow's Sprint race that will sort out the grid for Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. It was the first pole of the season for the Dutch driver and the 75th pole for Red Bull Racing.
After the rain this morning the track had dried out a lot already. When the green light for the 18 minutes we saw a mixed amount of cars fitted with soft and intermediate tyres Pirelli tyres. The first lap time was set by Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W13 on intermediates. The British driver clocked a 1:27.214 min. His first lap was quicker than both Alfa Romeos who were on slick tyres.
The drivers with slicks on their car improved a lot once they heated up their tyres. Williams driver Alex Albon had a huge problem when his rear right brake disc got heated way to much and even was on fire. After half a lap, it even exploded in turn 14 and caused a red flag with 12:06 min to go, to clean up the track. At that moment 10 drivers didn't even had a lap time on the board. Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll was on top 1:23.419 min. He was +1.174s in front of Valtteri Bottas on P2 in the Alfa Romeo. Third was Max Verstappen at +2.096s in the Red Bull.
The track got quicker fast and the timed tumbled down to below the 1:20's. With 5 minutes to go the drivers who had to improve to get into Q2 were: Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Mick Schumacher (Haas), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and Albon.
Schumacher and Magnussen were the only drivers who improved enough to get into Q2. They both pushed out AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine driver Esteban Ocon. Hamilton just made it and ended up on P15 with a very thin margin of only 0.004s.
At the start of Q2 dark clouds with rain were approaching the track at the turn 7. All drivers got out as quickly as they could to get in a lap on slicks, before the rain would came down. With 10:42 min to go the session got red flagged again when Ferrari driver crashed out Q2. The Spanish driver lost the rear in turn 18, spun of and hit the barrier with the left side of the car. The impact damaged the front and rear suspension to much to go on.
During the red flag 'break' the expected rain showers had started and the track got too wet to go out on slicks. In the dying moments a few drivers did went out to check out if they could improve, but didn't. Both Mercedes drivers who were 2 sec. slower than Verstappen, who was fastest with a 1:18.793 min lap time, stayed in the garage and couldn't improve. It was the first time since the 2012 Japanese F1 GP that both Mercedes' didn't make it into Q3.
When the final 12 minutes quali session started the rain had stopped. Because the track was quite wet, all cars were fitted with the 'green' intermediate tyres. With 8:51 min. the session got red flagged for the third time, because Kevin Magnussen spun of at turn 12 and almost ended up in the gravel pit. Magnussen showed the world his great driving skills and was able to get back to the pits undamaged. Nobody had put a lap time on the timesheets yet.
Fernando Alonso was the first to get out in the Alpine at the restart and all cars still used the intermediate tyres. With five minutes to go the order was 1. Leclerc, 2. Verstappen, 3. Ricciardo, 4. Norris, 5. Magnussen, 6. Bottas, 7. Vettel, 8. Perez, 9. Alonso and 10. Sainz.
With 3 minutes to go Verstappen was on a hot lap that was quick enough to score pole. The Dutchman had to back off in the third sector, due to yellow flags that were waved when Bottas had parked the Alfa Romeo there. With 2:58 min the session got red flagged for the fourth time to recover the Alfa. Verstappen still managed to be 0.8s faster than Leclerc, who now was second fastest. Norris was third in the McLaren and Magnussen 4th.
Verstappen was in front of Leclerc at the restart and both drivers weren't able to improve, because of yellow flags and another red flag at turn 12 when Norris spun off and got stuck and ended the session.
Last year Bottas was fastest in the Mercedes W12 and clocked a 1:13.609 min.
Quali Times 2022 E. Romagna Sprint
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:19,295||1:18,793||1:27,999||22|
|7||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:19,773||1:19,296||1:29,808||25|
|8||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:20,419||1:20,192||1:30,439||23|
|9||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:20,364||1:19,957||1:31,062||25|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||1:19,305||1:18,990||no time||13|
|14||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:19,730||1:21,434||16|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:20,342||14|
|RT||23||Alexander Albon||Williams||no time||3|
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