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Lewis Hamilton claims 99th career pole position at Imola

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Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton put in another excellent qualifying session to claim his 99th career pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Hamilton claims 99th career pole position

Hamilton will start on the front row alongside a Red Bull, but surprisingly it was Sergio Perez who went second fastest.

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Max Verstappen qualified third but Red Bull will pose some threat in the race especially given that Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas is back in eighth.

Hamilton said that he is relishing the challenge from Red Bull.

The F1 World Champion said: “I love it, I love the challenge! We’ve got the two Red Bulls there, I think it’s definitely going to make strategy harder, and they’ve got great race pace.”

Verstappen was disappointed with his effort but hoped to make up for it on race day.

“Not so good in Q3 – a bit messy, not a good lap. Still, P3 is a good starting position,” Verstappen said.

“It’s gonna be interesting [in Sunday’s race]. We’ll try to make it difficult for [Mercedes].”

Perez surprised even himself with his pace but rued a final corner error that cost him pole.

“I never expected to be here today with where we were yesterday,” Perez said.

“I should have been on pole today, I made a mistake on the final corner. Tomorrow is what matters.”

Charles Leclerc wrestled his Ferrari into fourth and will start alongside the Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly who qualified fifth.

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Mclaren’s Lando Norris had a quick lap chalked off for exceeding track limits in the final sector and he will start just behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo whom he joins on the third row.

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1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:14.823 1:14.817 1:14.411 23
2 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:15.395 1:14.716 1:14.446 18
3 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:15.109 1:14.884 1:14.498 20
4 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:15.413 1:14.808 1:14.740 19
5 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI HONDA 1:15.548 1:14.927 1:14.790 21
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:15.669 1:15.033 1:14.826 21
7 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:15.009 1:14.718 1:14.875 15
8 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:14.672 1:14.905 1:14.898 22
9 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:15.385 1:15.117 1:15.210 20
10 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:15.522 1:15.138 20
11 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:15.406 1:15.199 16
12 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:15.826 1:15.261 16
13 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:15.459 1:15.394 14
14 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:15.653 1:15.593 14
15 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:15.832 1:15.593 14
16 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:15.974 10
17 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:16.122 9
18 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:16.279 12
19 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 1:16.797 12
Formula 1

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