Verstappen defies Ferrari challenge to claim Sprint pole in Imola


Max Verstappen continued his strong weekend in Imola by claiming Sprint pole for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s challenge on Saturday seemed to disappear when his RB18 was slow off of the line, allowing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to take the lead to the cheers of the Tifosi.

However, on the penultimate lap, the reigning world champion utilized his better tyre wear to re-take the lead, claiming pole for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

After he was handed his first-place medal, Verstappen reflected on his Sprint win.

He said:

“Yeah the start was very bad, I don’t know exactly what happened or why it was so bad, just too much wheelspin.

“After that we just had to stay calm and initially it looked like Charles was having a bit more pace but then I think he ran out of tyres and we could close the gap and go for the move into turn two.

“I know maybe tomorrow it might be a bit different but for sure, today, it worked out for us to be on this compound so very happy to have a clean Sprint race in the end.”

Perez and Sainz charge to take top-four start

Although Verstappen and Leclerc retained their starting positions, the races of their teammates was a rather different story.

Starting seventh and tenth, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz knew they had to use their machinery to return to the front, with both showing strong form to do so.

In the post-race interviews with Naomi Schiff, Perez said:

“I think it was important to minimize Qualifying from yesterday, the red flags out there, we struggled a lot with that so we didn’t put a lap together when it mattered.

“Today we managed to recover and I think we’re in a great position for the fight tomorrow.

“It would be ideal to get a one-two, that would be great for us but probably not for the Tifosi but we will try.”

McLaren continue comeback in Imola Sprint

After a tough beginning to their 2022 campaign, McLaren F1 has continued its strong form after a double-points finish in Australia.

Starting third and sixth, an eventual result of fifth and sixth will be a good result for the papaya team with a large margin remaining between themselves and the top-two.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, McLaren’s Lando Norris said:

“I’m as happy as I can be, honestly, I mean no matter if I was the best driver in the world I don’t think I could have achieved anything more today.

“We did the best we can and we beat the people we actually have a chance of beating, but Ferrari and Red Bull are just so much faster. It’s not even a race against them.”

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt


About Author

Comments are closed.