Formula 1: Valtteri Bottas flew into Imola and took pole position

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The Finn beat Lewis Hamilton by 97 thousandths and will start the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix first. Dutchman Verstappen will start third.

The Finn Valtteri Bottas was the fastest in the qualifying test that took place this Saturday at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome in Imola and on Sunday he will start from the first place the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the 13th round of the Formula 1 championship .

On the return of the top flight of world motorsport to Imola after 14 years (the last winner, in 2006, was the German Michael Schumacher), the British Lewis Hamilton, aboard his Mercedes, had dominated the only free practice session , a little earlier, and had left behind the Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

But at the time of qualifying, his teammate was the one who reflected on the track the superiority of the Mercedes. In his best turn, the Scandinavian needed 1: 13,609 to cover the 4,959 meters of the track and beat by 97 thousandths the six-time world champion and leader of the current season.

“I really enjoyed this track, it is beautiful. I knew I had to improve on the last lap and I found small gains. I took a risk and the car responded without problems, “explained Bottas after taking pole.

“Valtteri did a great job and I did a pretty poor lap. You can’t always get everything. It is such a beautiful track that driving is quite difficult. Tomorrow it can be difficult to pass because it is quite narrow, “said Hamilton.

Despite some mechanical difficulties in his vehicle, Verstappen placed third, 567 thousandths behind Bottas, and on Sunday he will share the second starting row with Frenchman Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri). “With the problem, it was a bit complicated. At the end of the day, third place is not bad, but personally I was hoping to be able to fight them a bit more, ”acknowledged the Dutchman.

The Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), the Thai Alexander Albon (Red Bull), the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), the Russian Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), the British Lando Norris (McLaren) and the Spanish Carlos Sainz (McLaren)

Further behind were the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Racing Point), the French Esteban Ocon (Renault), the British George Russell (Williams), the German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) and the Canadian Lance Stroll (Racing Point).

From the bottom of the row will start the Frenchman Romain Grosjean (Haas), the Danish Kevin Magnussen (Haas), the Finn Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), the Canadian Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and the Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo).

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the third round of the year to be held on Italian soil, will span 63 laps, start at 9.10 and will be broadcast on ESPN.

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