F1 qualifying LIVE: Updates from wet and rainy Imola as drivers qualify for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race




<p>Qualifying at Imola will see drivers position themselves for Saturday’s sprint race </p>
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Qualifying at Imola will see drivers position themselves for Saturday’s sprint race

(AP)

Follow all the latest updates from qualifying at a rainy Imola on Friday afternoon as the drivers battle for position ahead of Saturday’s sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Friday has already seen the F1 teams get out on the track for the first practice session of the weekend and qualifying is taking place 24 hours earlier than usual due to the first sprint race of the 2022 season on Saturday before the race itself being in its usual Sunday slot.

During the opening practice, Lewis Hamilton finished only 18th as Charles Leclerc set the pace on a rain-drenched afternoon. Carlos Sainz was second fastest as Ferrari notched a one-two to raise hopes that they’ll continue their sterling start to the campaign that has seen Leclerc win two of the opening three races – holding a commanding 34-point lead at the top of the championship.

World champion Max Verstappen finished third in FP1, 1.465 seconds down, with Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher fourth and fifth respectively for Haas but Mercedes’ early-season woes showed few signs of changing with George Russell only 10th, and team-mate Hamilton even further back, seven seconds off Leclerc’s pace.

Follow all the latest updates from qualifying at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix below:

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Lewis Hamilton not expecting ‘groundbreaking’ improvement from Mercedes at Imola

The reigning constructors’ champions have failed to show they can keep pace with Ferrari and Red Bull in the opening three races of the season.

Hamilton managed an impressive podium at the opener in Bahrain, but could only secure tenth at the Saudi Arabian GP.

While Mercedes then showed signs of improvement in Australia as Hamilton came fourth and teammate George Russell managed third, they still have some way to go if they are going to consistently challenge for victories.

And Hamilton admits they have not upgraded the car to a great deal since the Melbourne race a fortnight ago.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 14:52

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‘It’s difficult to say’: Max Verstappen in the dark over whether Red Bull have fixed reliability problems

The 24-year-old, who claimed his first world championship in dramatic fashion last season, has endured a mixed start to the 2022 F1 campaign.

But similar issues then emerged again in Australia as Verstappen’s engine overheated, causing him to suffer another DNF. The two reliability issues have seen the Dutchman fall 46 points behind drivers’ championship leader Charles Leclerc.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 14:40

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F1 drivers push for sprint race changes

Formula One drivers would favor further adjustments to the sprint race format, notably to make it a standalone event rather than deciding grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

The introduction of the sprint races were a new innovation brought in at the start of the 2021 season and this year they will be held at the Emilia-Romagna, Austrian and Sao Paulo Grands Prix.

Modications have already been made for the 2022 season, with the points system being tweaked. Now the top eight drivers score points, where previously it was just the top three finishers. It’s also more lucrative as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, rather than three last year.

Despite the alterations, criticism remains surrounding the fact the result of the sprint race determines the grid for the full points-paying grand prix on Sunday and that there is also reduced incentive to risk an overtake.

autosport have reported that the F1 is therefore considering developing the sprint race into a standalone event for next season.

Luke Baker22 April 2022 14:26

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Lewis Hamilton struggles again as Ferrari quickest at Imola practice ahead of qualifying

A fortnight on from a sun-drenched Melbourne, Formula One reconvened at a rain-hit Imola for the fourth round of the new season.

Leclerc, who has won two of the opening three races, holds a commanding 34-point lead at the top of the championship.

And despite a number of off-track excursions, I have led the way here in the sole running before qualifying later on Friday.

But Mercedes’ early-season woes showed few signs of changing with George Russell only 10th, and team-mate Hamilton even further back, seven seconds off Leclerc’s pace.

Luke Baker22 April 2022 14:14

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What is a sprint race in F1 and how does it work?

Following its success in 2021 Formula One season, the F1 Commission has approved plans to run the F1 Sprint format at three Grand Prix weekends this season.

As it was last year, the F1 Sprint is a 100km dash with no mandatory pit stops and drivers racing flat-out to the checkered flag.

F1 Sprint was introduced last season with the result determining the grid for the weekend’s main event, the Grand Prix on Sunday.

For the 2022 season, the points system has been tweaked, with the top eight drivers scoring points, where previously it was just the top three finishers. It’s also now more lucrative as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, rather than three last year.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 14:05

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Emilia Romagna practice 1

Contrasting fortunes for Haas and Mercedes.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 13:55

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A perfect start

Will Ferrari pick up where they’ve left off?

Michael Jones22 April 2022 13:52

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Ferrari lead the way

It was an interesting practice session. Ferrari stormed into the lead but there’s a feeling of more to come from the Red Bulls.

Mercedes struggled with porpoising and grip especially on the wet tires and they’ll be looking at improvements ahead of qualifying at 4pm.

Haas will also be hoping for a good result when they head back out in a couple of hours time.

Michael Jones22 April 2022 13:51

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Emilia Romagna practice 1

(AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Jones22 April 2022 13:48

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Emilia Romagna practice 1

Michael Jones22 April 2022 13:44


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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