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Mick Schumacher was 12th for Haas, Guanyu Zhou in 14th for Alfa Romeo and Lance Stroll 15th for Aston Martin.
Alex Albon retired from Q1 after a brake disc caught fire and exploded on his Williams and he will start from the back of the grid. His teammate Nicholas Latifi was in 18th. Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly were in 16th and 17th for AlphaTauri, with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in 19th.
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Max Verstappen took the first pole position of his Formula 1 world championship defence in an incredible Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying session that was red-flagged five times.
Points leader Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari joins the Red Bull on the front row.
The session sets the grid for F1’s first sprint race of the 2022 season at Imola, with the result of that then deciding the line-up for Sunday’s main event.
Given the field was going into qualifying – which began on a dry track – with just one wet hour of practice behind it and with more rain looming, the session was always likely to be eventful.
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But it proved rather more than that as it produced Mercedes’ worst F1 qualifying since 2012 as both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton departed in Q2, and also featured a crash for Carlos Sainz that leaves him 10th on the grid.
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Fresh from agreeing his new Ferrari deal and eager to get his season back on course after his disappointing Melbourne weekend, Sainz was instead left profusely apologising to his team after losing it at Rivazza 2 in Q2.
He was second at the time, three places ahead of Leclerc, but spun into the barriers.
Rain falling straight afterwards meant Sainz’s time held up to get him into Q3, although his car was too badly damaged to participate.