HomeSportsLewis Hamilton takes 99th F1 pole after edging out Red Bulls in...

Lewis Hamilton takes 99th F1 pole after edging out Red Bulls in Emilia Romagna GP qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton on pole, 0.035s ahead of Sergio Perez – who outqualifies Max Verstappen; Valtteri Bottas only eighth in other Mercedes; Yuki Tsunoda crashed out in AlphaTauri

Last Updated: 17/04/21 2:30pm

Lewis Hamilton secured a superb 99th Formula 1 pole position after edging out Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen in a frenetic and extremely close Emilia Romagna GP qualifying.

Hamilton had been quiet throughout the Imola weekend but burst into form in Saturday’s shootout, with his first Q3 lap – a 1:14.411 – enough to hold off the competition as the seven-time world champion single-handedly carried the fight for Mercedes against F1’s charging Bulls.

In a slight surprise, it will be Red Bull’s new signing Perez and not Verstappen, who had an epic head-to-head duel against Hamilton in Bahrain, who will line up behind the Mercedes on the front row in the race.

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Both drivers were within a tenth of a second of Hamilton, and both were ruing missing their chance of pole after small errors on the last laps.

In an even bigger surprise, Valtteri Bottas could only manage eighth place for Mercedes as the Finn, who was on pole here last year and topped both of Friday’s practice sessions, struggled in Q3.

Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will all start ahead of Bottas.

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