The paper form prevailed in the time trial of the Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Mercedes took the first row with a huge lead, but the order within the team already caused some surprises: Valtteri Bottas swept the pole from Lewis Hamilton with his last lap, thus the Finn finished fourth this year and 15th in his career. Behind the Mercedes, as usual, Red Bull’s Dutchman Max Verstappen became the third starting block.
After the knockout, Johnny Herbert, who reaped three victories in his Formula 1 career, conducted the interviews with the fastest.
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, 1.): “You have to fight for it, there’s no such thing as an easy pole position. I really enjoyed. This track is beautiful when you push it to the core. I knew I needed to improve on the last lap and managed to find the little things I needed. Great feeling. I really lay on the 2-3 turns, but it only came together by the end, as did the last few turns. Tomorrow will be a good fight, with one of the longest journeys to turn 1 in the race calendar. I have no doubt that Lewis and Max will chase me, but I’m starting from a good place. ”
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, 2.): “Valtteri did a great job, but my nails were pretty weak. There are things that can’t go perfectly. But what a beautiful place we are here in Italy, the track is incredible and the speed at which we go around it. I am grateful to be here, as well as for our performance, which is truly remarkable. It feels a lot better than in the last race, even though it was a real challenge that I enjoyed. ”
Max Verstappen (Red Bull, 3.): “Because of our problem, we didn’t have a very good timer, we didn’t manage to go many laps. The situation is a bit tricky: we did get on the medium tires, but we seemed to suffer a bit, we didn’t have too much grip. For the second time, it was better. Third place isn’t bad, but I personally wanted to get a little closer. The track is very cool, a pleasure to drive on. I thought it would be too tight for these cars, but I trust we will have a good race tomorrow. ”