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Imola Grand Prix 2024: Max Verstappen beats Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris to pole

Written by on May 18, 2024

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris in a tight battle for pole position at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Verstappen was just 0.074 seconds quicker than Piastri, who pipped Norris by 0.017secs with the final lap of the session.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fourth, 0.224secs behind Verstappen, but 0.263secs quicker than team-mate Carlos Sainz who is right behind him.

Mercedes’ George Russell took sixth ahead of RB’s Yuki Tsunoda and the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

It was Verstappen’s eighth pole position in a row, matching the all-time record set by Ayrton Senna across the 1988 and 1989 seasons, 30 years after the great Brazilian was killed on this circuit at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

But it came as a surprise, because Red Bull had appeared to be struggling all weekend – and his team-mate Sergio Perez could qualify only 11th.

Verstappen said: “Really difficult weekend so far, even this morning, so incredibly happy to be on pole. I didn’t expect that. We made some changes before qualifying and it seemed to feel a bit better and this track is unbelievable.

“To be so fast, so close to the gravel. I touched the gravel a little on my final lap. I’m still pumping. The adrenaline is incredible.”

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