RACE DEBRIEF

    Imola was the location for the first Friday qualifying session of the year, and it threw up all sorts of drama thanks to the weather. The drivers had to contend with a wet track at the start of Q1 that rapidly dried out, before more rain arrived late on to further complicate the situation.

    There were crashes, spins and red flags aplenty but in the end Max Verstappen grabbed pole, timing his run on a drying track to perfection to pip Charles Leclerc. Here are the best facts and stats from a very long qualifying session…

    • Qualifying featured five red flags, the most since the knockout format was introduced in 2006.

    • Max Verstappen takes Red Bull’s 75th pole position in F1.

    READ MORE: Verstappen takes pole position in dramatic wet-dry session ahead of Sprint at Imola

    • Charles Leclerc has been first or second in every qualifying so far this season.

    • Lando Norris grabbed third – his team’s best qualifying performance of the year.

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    Verstappen grabbed P1 for Red Bull, his first pole of the year
    • Kevin Magnussen finished fourth for his team’s best qualifying in their history.

    • The Dane has previously started P4, when he was on debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. He also started fourth at the 2014 German Grand Prix.

    • Fernando Alonso’s P5 is his first top-five start at Imola since 2006 when he raced for Renault.

    • Daniel Ricciardo starts sixth, and therefore starts the Sprint from the same position in which he started last year’s race here.

    READ MORE: ‘The car surprised me’ says Sainz, as he reflects on costly Imola qualifying crash

    • Sergio Perez grabbed P7 for his worst qualifying of the year, having started on the front row here last season.

    • Sebastian Vettel reached Q3 at Imola for the first time, which was also Aston Martin’s first Q3 of the year.

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    Vettel made Q3 for the first time this season
    • Mercedes have not failed to reach Q3 with at least one car since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix, a streak of 187 races.

    • Mick Schumacher tied his best qualifying of P12, also achieved in Bahrain this season.

    • Yuki Tsunoda has failed to make it to Q2 in three of the first four races.

    • His team mate Pierre Gasly also exited at the first time of asking, for the first time since Mugello 2020.

    WATCH: Dramatic brake fire curtails Alex Albon’s qualifying in Imola

    • Nicholas Latifi out-qualified Alex Albon for the first time this year, although Williams lost both cars in Q1 for the third consecutive race.

    • Esteban Ocon suffered his first Q1 elimination since Austria 2021.