Formula 1: Verstappen storms to 8th consecutive Pole in Imola

IMOLA, ITALY – MAY 18: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 stops in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on May 18, 2024 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405180424 // Usage for editorial use only //

Despite the pace shown during the leadup Free Practice sessions it was Max Verstappen who put his Red Bull RB20 on pole for the 8th consecutive time, tying Ayrton Senna in the process at the very track with the late 3-time World Champion lost his life 30 years ago. The wild final moment of Q3 saw Ferrari fail to improve after strong FP1 and FP2 sessions on Friday as McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris would take the second and third grid positions behind Verstappen.

***UPDATE: Oscar Piastri has been assessed a 3-place grid penalty for impeding the Haas of Kevin Magnussen and will start Sunday’s race in 5th Position. This promotes Lando Norris to 2nd, Charles LeClerc to 3rd, and Carlos Sainz to 4th***

Qualifying Highlights: 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Q1 Results:

Fernando Alonso’s shock exit was the talk of Q1 as the Spaniard failed to put a competitive time on the sheets as Aston Martin mechanics scrambled to reassemble his car after an FP3 shunt. Initially last, he was promoted to 19th after Logan Sargeant had his lap time deleted for exceeding track limits.

Elsewhere, McLaren and Verstappen went to battle with Oscar Piastri setting the pace midway through the session before being bumped by teammate Lando Norris. Not to be outdone, Verstappen then laid down a lap 1.5 tenths clear of Norris as Charles LeClerc entered the fray to challenge for the top spot.

Drivers out in Q1:

  • 16th: Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber)
  • 17th: Zhou Guanyu (Kick Sauber)
  • 18th: Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  • 19th: Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
  • 20th: Logan Sargeant (Williams)

Q2 Results:

Verstappen once again set the pace in Q2 as the rest of the field emerged to lay down times, but it was Sergio Perez who shocked them all as the Mexican driver failed to make Q1, a stark contrast compared to his teammate who held the top spot despite challenges from LeClerc and Yuki Tsunoda.

Further down the field, Mercedes struggled for pace and could only manage a bottom 5 position for the carryover into Q3, and in a surprise turn Daniel Ricciardo joined teammate Tsunoda in the top-10.

Drivers out in Q2:

  • 11th: Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
  • 12th: Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
  • 13th: Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
  • 14th: Alex Albon (Williams)
  • 15th:Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

Q3 Results:

Soft tires was the name of the game in Q3 as some teams opted for used instead of new, but it was again Verstappen who laid down the gauntlet and broke into the 1:14s times with a 1:14.869s lap ahead of Lando Norris, just 0.073s behind. Oscar Piastri then, on a flyer, seemed to have Verstappen beat until a slight bobble early in his lap hampered any progress.

As the field lulled mid-session, teams began to prep for the final run and drivers queued at the end of pit lane for the optimum time to strike. Verstappen further lowered his time on the second outing, dropping down to a 1:14.746s which proved to be unbeatable as Piastri and Norris slotted in behind the Dutchman. LeClerc and Sainz failed to improve and ended 4th and 5th as George Russell followed in 6th.

Yuki Tsunoda put his RB in 7th on the grid ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, and the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.

Free Practice 1 Report: CLICK HERE

Free Practice 2 Report: CLICK HERE

Free Practice 2 Report: CLICK HERE


DateSessionTime (Local Circuit)
May 17thPractice 113:30 – 14:30
Practice 216:00 – 17:00
May 18thPractice 312:30 – 13:30
Qualifying16:00 – 17:00
May 19thRace15:00

Qualifying Results:

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:15.7621:15.1761:14.74618
281Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:15.9401:15.4071:14.82015
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:15.9151:15.3711:14.83719
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:15.8231:15.3281:14.97021
555Carlos SainzFERRARI1:16.0151:15.5121:15.23320
663George RussellMERCEDES1:16.1071:15.6711:15.23418
722Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:15.8941:15.3581:15.46515
844Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:16.6041:15.6771:15.50420
93Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:16.0601:15.6911:15.67415
1027Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:15.8411:15.5691:15.98021
1111Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:16.4041:15.70610
1231Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:16.3611:15.90615
1318Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:16.4581:15.99215
1423Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:16.5241:16.20012
1510Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:16.0151:16.38114
1677Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:16.6266
1724Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:16.8349
1820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:16.8548
1914Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:16.9177