Mercedes Lock Out Front Row In Imola With Valtteri Bottas Nicking Pole

Illustration for article titled Mercedes Lock Out Front Row In Imola With Valtteri Bottas Nicking Pole
Photo: Rudy Carezzevoli (Getty Images)

The last time Formula One raced at Imola, pole position was worth a lap time over one minute and 20 seconds. This year, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took pole with a 1m 12.609s time.

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Traffic proved to be difficult for plenty of drivers in Q1, making it difficult for drivers to set their fast laps unimpeded. Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr. both lost their first opportunity to set a time. Then, soon after, Bottas’ time was deleted for exceeding track limits, along with Albon’s.

With the final 30 seconds left in the session, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen went on an off-track excursion through the gravel. Raikkonen has his lap time deleted at the last minute, dropping down the standings. Hamilton also had his fastest lap time deleted, but considering that he’s driving a Mercedes, it didn’t have much of an impact.

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Knocked Out In Q1

16. Romain Grosjean
17. Kevin Magnussen
18. Kimi Raikkonen
19. Nicholas Latifi
20. Antonio Giovinazzi

Verstappen had issues during the second session, being forced to pit early with the hope that it would be an easily solvable problem. He had an electrical issue causing a misfire, with the team working hard to attempt to get the car out before the end of the session. He made it back out on track with just over three minutes left in the session.

His Red Bull teammate Alex Albon brought out a brief yellow flag by spinning over a curb. He didn’t touch the wall, but he did flat spot his tires.

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Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll had their fast laps deleted for exceeding track limits.

Knocked Out In Q2

11. Sergio Perez
12. Esteban Ocon
13. George Russell
14. Sebastian Vettel
15. Lance Stroll

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To continue his bad day, Albon had his lap time deleted in the final qualifying session.

Hamilton seemed set to nab pole position, but in a reverse of the last race’s qualifying session, Bottas crossed the line just after Hamilton to take that first starting position.

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Top 10 After Q3

1. Valtteri Bottas
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Max Verstappen
4. Pierre Gasly
5. Daniel Ricciardo
6. Alex Albon
7. charles Leclerc
8. Daniil Kvyat
9. Lando Norris
10. Carlos Sainz

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

1. Valtteri Bottas

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Max Verstappen

That’s pretty much this season, its only news if someone blocked Hamilton from it.  Pierre Gasly getting 4th is a good turn of events.  Can we dump Albon back to the jr team now?