RACE DEBRIEF

    Formula 1 hasn’t visited Imola in well over a decade, but its return is already proving popular with drivers and fans alike. So what numbers did Saturday’s session throw up to add to the famous venue’s history books?

    • Today was Valtteri Bottas’ 15th career pole position – he has converted 5 of the previous 14 into wins.

    • With team mate Lewis Hamilton 2nd, it was Mercedes’ 74th front-row lockout.

    • Lewis Hamilton has been 1st or 2nd in every Q3 session this year.

    • Max Verstappen is 3rd on the grid for the 6th time in the last 10 races.

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    Bottas had to work hard to beat Hamilton to pole, with just 0.097s the margin

    • Pierre Gasly's 4th is the best qualifying result for AlphaTauri since Sebastian Vettel was on pole for the team (then Toro Rosso) at Monza 2008.

    • The team – who have just reconfirmed Gasly for next season – have never been in the top 4 on the grid in any other event since their Minardi days.

    READ MORE: Gasly dedicates P4 at Imola to Senna after equalling best ever qualifying performance

    • Gasly’s P4 matches his previous career-best start of 4th for Red Bull at the 2019 German GP.

    • Team mate Daniil Kvyat made it into Q3 for only the 2nd time in the last 28 races, the last being Mexico 2019.

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    It was another team boss-pleasing performance from Leclerc

    • Daniel Ricciardo’s P5 result gives him his 4th top-5 start of the season.

    • Ricciardo out-qualified team mate Esteban Ocon (P12) for the 11th consecutive race.

    • Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc qualified 7th – the last time he started in that position, at the 2020 Austrian GP, he finished 2nd.

    • At McLaren, Lando Norris out-qualified team mate Carlos Sainz for only the 2nd time in the last 8 Grands Prix.

    • Racing Point’s Sergio Perez – currently without a drive for 2020 – failed to reach Q3 for the first time this year in dry weather, the Mexican missing the cut by just 0.010s.

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    Giovinazzi had the dubious honour of being slowest on his home track

    • Williams’ George Russell – who will stay with the team next year – reached Q2 for the 8th time in the last 12 races – he has now out-qualified his team mate in 34 consecutive races.

    • Russell also out-qualified Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for the 2nd consecutive weekend, with Vettel having had his quickest Q2 time deleted for exceeding track limits.

    • Vettel failed to reach Q3 for a 9th consecutive race.

    • Both Haas drivers went out in Q1 for the 7th time in 2020, with Romain Grosjean now leading team mate Kevin Magnussen 7-6 in their qualifying head-to-head. Both have been dropped from the team for next year.

    • It’s also 7-6 in the Alfa Romeo team mates’ head-to-head, with Kimi Raikkonen leading Antonio Giovinazzi. Both have been retained for next year.

    • Giovinazzi was the slowest qualifier for only the 2nd time this year. He was also slowest at the Spanish GP.

    ANALYSIS: Why Alfa Romeo kept Raikkonen and Giovinazzi for 2021 – and what now for Schumacher?