F1 sprint LIVE: Updates as Lewis Hamilton chases Max Verstappen for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix position



Sainz Jnr handed new Ferrari contract as F1 heads to Imola

Follow live coverage as Max Verstappen starts Saturday’s sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on pole position after both Mercedes cars failed to make it through to Q3 for the first time in almost 10 years at Imola on Friday evening.

After Carlos Sainz’s crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain began to pour and brought wet conditions for the remainder of the session, leaving both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell eliminated as they opted to not risk a further lap in the rain.

It marked the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2012 that Mercedes failed to have a car finish in the top 10 of qualifying as their early season struggles continued, with Toto Wolff saying his team’s issues with ‘porpoising’ were their worst yet this year .

At the other end of the field, Verstappen will start ahead of Charles Leclerc after he held on to provisional pole in a rain-soaked and red flag-hit qualifying session. Verstappen clocked a faster time than Leclerc just as Valtteri Bottas pulled up off the track to trigger the fifth red flag of the session, while Lando Norris took a surprise third.

Follow all the latest from the sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix below:

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Max Verstappen beats Charles Leclerc to pole for Imola sprint race as both Mercedes cars fail to make Q3

After Carlos Sainz’s crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain began to pour and brought wet conditions for the remainder of the session, leaving both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell eliminated as they opted to not risk a further lap in the rain.

It marked the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2012 that Mercedes failed to have a car finish in the top 10 of qualifying as their early season struggles continued, with Toto Wolff saying his team’s issues with ‘porpoising’ were their worst yet this year .

Michael Jones23 April 2022 11:21

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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.

Michael Jones23 April 2022 11:17

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Emilia Romagna practice 2

What that means is we should see quicker lap times, less red flags (fingers crossed on that one) and more exciting racing. Free practice 2 kicks off around about 11:30am UK time and the drivers will have an hour on the circuit to get familiar with the conditions and learn more about which set ups will be ideal for this afternoon’s sprint.

Mercedes in particular will want to have a good practice as they’ve got work to do in the sprint to try to position themselves well for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

Michael Jones23 April 2022 11:13

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What is a sprint race in F1 and how does qualifying 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 Jones23 April 2022 11:11

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F1 grid today: Starting positions for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race

And when qualifying was summarized, Lando Norris hit the wall to trigger the fifth red flag of the afternoon at Imola and leaving the drivers unable to improve upon their times.

Here’s the starting grid for today’s F1 Sprint:

Michael Jones23 April 2022 11:06

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Emilia Romagna sprint race

Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Formula 1’s Sprint race from Imola Circuit at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished a cold and wet qualifying session yesterday with pole position and will start at the front of the grid for today’s sprint, closely followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both failed to make Q3 yesterday and will start in P13 and P11 respectively for today’s race. The sprint is a 100km dash with no pit stops and points are awarded to the drivers who finish in the first eight places.

The final results of the sprint also determines the grid positions for tomorrow’s GP so there’s a lot at stake this afternoon. The race starts around 3:30pm but first there will be another practice session to allow the teams time to assess the conditions on track.

Michael Jones23 April 2022 11:01


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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