Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Qualifying


The previous race, the Portuguese GP, saw HAM break Michael Schumacher’s record of F1 wins. This weekend the F1 circus is back in Italy – this time it’s the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, which in the past has also hosted the San Marino GP most notably in 1994 when Roland Ratzenberger died in qualifying and Ayrton Senna died in the race. The last time F1 raced at Imola: LEC, VER and RUS were aged 8, NOR was 5… and RAI finished 5th!

News:

  • The Emilia Romagna GP will be a 2-day weekend, with no running on Friday – it’s planned this time, rather than Friday being washed out [FIA]
  • Italian government bans spectators from Imola [BBC]
  • In other COVID-related news, “Racing Point have had seven cases during Formula 1 season” [BBC] and “Russell’s F1 trainer self-isolating after showing COVID-19 symptoms” [autosport]
  • FIA celebrate the driver who has “led more than 700 laps in Formula 1 and NEVER won a race – Safety Car supremo Bernd Maylander” [F1 twitter]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:14.726), VER, BOT, GAS, LEC, RIC, OCO, KVY, ALB, STR
    GAS’ helmet design includes a tribute to Senna
    Drivers are finding the track limits, sometimes exceeding them in order to know just how far they can go
    Both McLaren drivers had lap times deleted for exceeding track limits

That’s all – just the one practice session, and then it’s straight into Qualifying.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 19°C; track 26°C
Green lights; Q1 is under way
MAG 1:17.186
RUS 1:16.715
STR 1:16.256
KVY 1:15.412
(VET P3)
(GAS P2)
(LEC P3)
(VER P2)
Radio from HAM, “I hit the kerb”, asks them to check the car
HAM 1:15.144
BOT catches PER and has to abandon his lap
(GAS P2)
LEC 1:15.123
VER 1:15.034
HAM 1:14.574
(BOT P2) … but his time is deleted
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are LAT, MAG, RAI, ALB, BOT
MAG P11, GIO P16
RAI P13, RIC P16
BOT P2, RUS P16
LAT P17
2mins left; bottom 5: RUS, LAT, RIC, GIO, ALB
HAM 1:14.229
ALB P7, RAI P16
MAG runs wide, across the gravel
Chequered flag
RUS P11, MAG P16
RAI P11, GRO P16 … but his time’s deleted
BOT 1:14.221
RIC P11, GRO P16
Back of the grid: GRO, MAG, RAI, LAT, GIO

Qualifying session 2
The front runners (Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari) on medium tyres; rest are on softs
VET 1:16.302
GAS 1:15.005
HAM 1:14.643
BOT 1:14.585
VER complains of a lack of power; returns to the pits without setting a time
VET kicks up some gravel
ALB spins but keeps his Red Bull out of the wall
Christian Horner says VER’s problem was an electrical issue causing a misfire
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are ALB, STR, RUS, VET, VER
Red Bull send VER out on mediums
VET P12
BOT and HAM come out on softs, just in case
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are RUS, ALB, VET, STR, VER
VER P4, OCO P11
ALB P4, PER P11
RUS’ lap time is deleted, so he’s back to P14
Middle of the grid: PER, OCO, VET, RUS, STR

Top 10 shootout will be between BOT, HAM, GAS, ALB, RIC, VER, LEC, KVY, SAI and NOR

Qualifying session 3
RIC left the Renault garage a bit close to VER – was it an unsafe release?
Everyone on soft tyres
SAI 1:15.595
KVY 1:14.932
HAM 1:13.781
GAS P2
BOT P2
VER P3
ALB P5
LEC P6
Order after the first run: HAM, BOT, VER, GAS, ALB, LEC, NOR, KVY, RIC, SAI
ALB’s lap time was deleted again, so he drops from P5 to P10
RIC P4
GAS P4
ALB P6
Chequered flag
HAM 1:13.706
BOT 1:13.609
Front of the grid: BOT, HAM, VER, GAS, RIC, ALB, LEC, KVY, NOR, SAI

Interviews:
BOT: “Really enjoyed this track, it’s beautiful. I knew I had to improve in the last lap and I found such small gains. I risked it and the car turned in nicely. It’s one of the longest runs into Turn 1 so no doubt Lewis and Max will be chasing me”
HAM: “Valtteri did a great job and I had a pretty poor lap. You can’t always get them all. It’s such a beautiful track, to drive it’s quite messy. It might be hard to overtake tomorrow as it’s quite narrow.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes”
VER: “With the trouble, it was a bit tricky. It doesn’t give you a good reference in Q3, and there was not a lot of grip. At the end of the day P3 isn’t bad but I personally expected to be able to fight them a little bit more”
GAS: “My best ever qualifying in Formula 1 so very happy with that. I’m really happy with the engineers, they provide me with a really strong car every weekend and I’m managing to get a bit more out of it at the moment”
NOR: “The car was feeling very good today, it was just close. This weekend AlphaTauri look very, very fast”

Provisional grid: BOT, HAM, VER, GAS, RIC, ALB, LEC, KVY, NOR, SAI, PER, OCO, VET, RUS, STR, GRO, MAG, RAI, LAT, GIO

[2020 calendar] [2020 line-up]