Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
27 days
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
50 days
09 May
Next event in
68 days
23 May
Race in
85 days
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
99 days
13 Jun
Race in
107 days
27 Jun
Race in
120 days
04 Jul
Next event in
124 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
155 days
29 Aug
Race in
183 days
05 Sep
Race in
190 days
12 Sep
Race in
197 days
26 Sep
Race in
211 days
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
215 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
240 days
31 Oct
Race in
247 days
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
282 days
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
288 days

Emilia Romagna GP: Bottas snatches pole from Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton to pole for Formula 1's 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, with Max Verstappen third despite needing a rapid Q2 spark plug change.


Both Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will start the race on the medium compound rubber, giving them an expected additional strategy advantage over the rest of the top 10 runners for Sunday's race.

Hamilton had the advantage after the opening runs in Q3 had been completed on the soft rubber, with his 1m13.781s putting him 0.031s clear of Bottas despite the world champion dipping his rear wheels into the gravel exiting the final corner.

But Bottas responded on the second runs, beating Hamilton to the fastest time in the first sector by just over 0.1s, and then holding on for the rest of the lap to claim pole by just 0.097s

Verstappen wound up third but was 0.567s, with his former Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly taking an impressive fourth for AlphaTauri.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Renault, with Alex Albon sixth after a complex session containing a spin and a track limits violation – something that applied to several drivers down the grid.

Charles Leclerc was seventh for Ferrari's third home race of the revised 2020 season, ahead of Daniil Kvyat and the McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, who rounded out the top 10 in Q3.

In Q2, Sergio Perez was eliminated when Albon leapt up the order with his final lap in the middle segment, after the Red Bull driver had had to switch from the mediums to softs following a spin at the exit of the Variante Alta chicane.

Esteban Ocon took 12th, ahead of Williams George Russell, who was 11th after he'd completed his final lap before being shuffled back.

But Russell will start ahead of Sebastian Vettel after the Ferrari driver lost his best time in Q2, his last flying effort, for running too wide out of Variante Alta – after he too had attempt to get through on the mediums in the early Q2 running.

Lance Stroll also lost a time for running wide at Variante Alta, but it was not his personal best in Q2 as he nevertheless ended up P15 and out.

In Q1, Bottas and Albon only jumped up the order on their final runs after losing earlier times for exceeding track limits at the exit of the Piratella corner at the top of the hill in the second sector, while Hamilton lost what would have been the segments best time for the same infraction late-on.

The Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were the highest placed of the drivers eliminated after the opening session, with the latter running wide into the gravel trap out of the second Rivazza turn – the track's last corner.

Then came Kimi Raikkonen, who lost a lap time good enough to get through, which would have eliminated Stroll in Q1, for running wide out of exiting Variante Alta – although the Finn insisted over his team radio his "left wheels were on the kerbs".

Nicholas Latifi and home hero Antonio Giovinazzi brought up the rear of the field, with the latter setting a personal best on his final run, which was still not enough to lift him out of last place.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 1'13.609
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 1'13.706 0.097
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 1'14.176 0.567
4 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 1'14.502 0.893
5 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 1'14.520 0.911
6 Thailand Alex Albon
Red Bull 1'14.572 0.963
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 1'14.616 1.007
8 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
AlphaTauri 1'14.696 1.087
9 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 1'14.814 1.205
10 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 1'14.911 1.302
11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 1'15.061 1.452
12 France Esteban Ocon
Renault 1'15.201 1.592
13 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 1'15.323 1.714
14 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 1'15.385 1.776
15 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 1'15.494 1.885
16 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 1'15.918 2.309
17 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 1'15.939 2.330
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 1'15.953 2.344
19 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 1'15.987 2.378
20 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 1'16.208 2.599


Live: Follow Emilia Romagna GP qualifying as it happens

Previous article

Live: Follow Emilia Romagna GP qualifying as it happens

Next article

2020 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying results, full grid lineup

2020 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying results, full grid lineup
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia-Romagna GP
Sub-event QU
Author Alex Kalinauckas
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021