The Track - Imola
Imola is a special circuit which honours the names of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna, who in the Grand Prix of 1994 had both passed away due to crashes while driving in consecutive days. This tragedy was followed by a further reviewing of all Formula 1 circuits as to take more safety measures to ensure that a tragedy like this is avoided. It is a fast and flowing track with some breaking corners which the drivers need to be careful for certain lock-ups.
How are they lining up?
1. Valtteri Bottas 2. Lewis Hamilton 3. Max Verstappen 4. Pierre Gasly 5. Daniel Ricciardo 6. Alexander Albon 7. Charles Leclerc 8. Daniil Kvyat 9. Lando Norris 10. Carlos Sainz 11. Sergio Perez 12. Esteben Ocon 13. George Russell 14. Sebastian Vettel 15. Lance Stroll 16. Romain Grosjean 17. Kevin Magnussen 18. Kimi Raikkonen 19. Nicholas Latifi 20. Antonio Giovinazzi
What went on during qualifying?
Drivers had to be careful not to exceed track limits at Turn 9 this week. Many drivers had their times deleted and this affected Raikkonen, Bottas and Albon in Q1.
Kevin Magnussen was close to Q2 but he went on to the gravel during his last lap and that cost him a place with the top 15.
Renault's Ricciardo made a late appearance in Q1 as he preferred to have this try in a track with less traffic. He managed to get P11 and by Q3 he managed to get his place with the top 10. Esteban Ocon had a tough weekend. During practice this morning he made a major mistake going into Mclaren's pit stop instead of Renault's almost hitting a Formula 1 cameraman. During qualifying he did not manage to get much either and will start in the 12th place of the grid.
This is the 8th time that Williams are starting with the top 15 on the grid thanks to George Russell. Nicholas Latifi could not make it out of Q3, but Russell is edging closer and closer to points and one hopes that this could be the weekend for it. He finished last weekend's race in Portugal in 15th place and keeps hoping that finally he puts his name on the leaderboard.
Since getting his podium in Monza, Lance Stroll could not catch a break. He did not finish three consecutive races since then and also got to miss out on the Eifel GP after feeling sick and later it resulted that he was positive for Covid-19. Tomorrow, he will not be starting from the best of positions either after going on to the gravel in Q2 and so did not manage to get a better result to help him gain more places.
Another disappointing start for Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari tomorrow as he does not manage to make it out of Q2 after finishing his lap by also going into the gravel. Out of twelve races, Vettel had been stuck in Q2 eight times. His best start this season was in Hungary this year in which he managed P5. It is no secret that Vettel's relationship with Ferrari has been cold this season. At the beginning of the season, Ferrari announced that they will not be negotiating any contract deals with Vettel and he stated that this came to a surprise to him as they did not even consult him about it. On the other hand, Charles Leclerc has been doing the best he can to get the most out of a troubled Ferrari car this year, and last race in Portugal he managed to also finish in 4th place behind both Mercedes and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Red Bull had a tough qualifying session this afternoon but they managed to go through each obstacle. Firstly, Albon had been struggling with track limits throughout the session and struggled to get a decent place in Q1. But eventually he found his feet and also managed to top off this afternoon session with P6. Meanwhile, Red Bull engineers performed another miracle for Max Verstappen. During Q2, he complained that he was feeling something weird with his car and there was something not right. It turned out to be a spark plug issue which they managed to fix just in time for Verstappen to have at least one lap in Q2 and make it to Q3. And so he did and also managed to get P3 in that session. Albon also faced some problems with a flat spot on his left tyre and so had to go on with the session with a medium compound rather than a soft. At the end of the day both drivers managed to obtain top 10 finished on the grid.