Max Verstappen on track at Imola. (Red Bull Content Pool Photo)

Verstappen Sets The Tone In Imola Qualifying

IMOLA, Italy — Max Verstappen topped the speed charts in Saturday’s Formula 1 qualifying at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. 

With a fastest lap of 1:14.746, Verstappen edged McLaren’s Oscar Piastri by a mere 0.074 seconds. Fresh off his victory in the Miami Grand Prix, Lando Norris qualified third.

“A really difficult weekend so far, even this morning,” said Verstappen. “I’m incredibly happy to be on pole here, I didn’t expect that. We made some final changes before qualifying, they seemed to make it feel a bit better, I could push a bit harder.

“This track is unbelievable, on a qualifying lap, to be on the limit here, close to the gravel. I touched the gravel in the last corner. I’m still pumping, the adrenaline is very, very high.”


The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz slotted in fourth and fifth, respectively. 

George Russell was the first Mercedes driver in sixth, followed by Yuki Tsunoda. Lewis Hamilton starts eighth with Daniel Ricciardo and Haas F-1’s Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10. 


Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez was a surprise Q2 exit after he was unable to improve on his lap time. He’ll start 11th. 

Fernando Alonso was knocked out of qualifying after Q1 as he’ll start 19th. American Logan Sargeant qualified 20th after his lap was removed due to exceeding track limits.