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F1 qualifying was disrupted when flaming debris littered the track following the Albon fire

Albon's rear wheel caught fire, throwing debris from his Williams across the track and bringing Q1 to a halt in less than three minutes (Author: Gardener)

AlbonAlbon's rear wheel caught fire, throwing debris from his Williams across the track and bringing Q1 to a halt in less than three minutes. Qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was abandoned after just three minutes when Alexander Albon's car caught fire, leaving flaming debris lying across the track. After a few seconds, parts of his car began to fall onto the track, causing race officials to end the session. However, it means the British-Thai racer will be forced to start Sunday's Grand Prix from the back for the second straight race. He had not been able to set a time before the fire on his rear wheel shortened his session. Not that starting 20th is guaranteed to stop him from getting a good result when the lights go out in this race. When he did so at the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, he showed superb tire management to complete all but one lap on the same set of hard rubber. Some debris was still burning as it lay on the track. Nicholas Latifi was Williams' only chance to get a driver involved in Q2 but he didn't get off to a promising start as he spanned his car on a slow down lap. He'd gotten fresh soft tires for one last try at setting a good time, but the spin caused huge flat spots on those new bits of rubber. He failed to get out of the session and joined his teammate Albon in the bottom five, along with Esteban Ocon, who didn't come out of the pits in time to set a hot lap. The two AlphaTauri drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly were the other unlucky races as Lewis Hamilton survived the retirement by just four thousandths of a second.

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FIVE red flags, Ricciardo rises and Mercedes' nightmare in F1 qualifying chaos

FIVE red flags, Ricciardo rises and Mercedes' nightmare in F1 qualifying chaos (Author: Gardener)

RicciardoWorld champion Max Verstappen secured pole position for Sunday's sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday after overtaking Charles Leclerc by 1.2 seconds in a rain-soaked qualifying session. The 24-year-old Dutchman drove his Red Bull with care and aplomb to avoid problems on a day of frequent accidents and five red flags that frustrated Ferrari's championship leaders. The 100km sprint race will set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix. Lando Norris was third for McLaren ahead of Haas' Kevin Magnussen, Alpine's Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished sixth in the second McLaren. Watch every Practice, Qualifying and Race of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship™ live on Kayo. However, both seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and George Russell failed to make the top ten shootout as their Mercedes team failed to progress for the first time in a decade. Sergio Perez finished seventh in the second Red Bull ahead of Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin. The opening session began with drama when shortly after Lance Stroll had set the pace in 1:23.419 on dry slick tyres, Alexander Albon's right rear brake caught fire, shooting flames into the air and triggering a red flag stop before the brake exploded . At the resumption, when everyone switched to softs, Vettel and then Stroll were fastest for Aston Martin before times tumbled in improving, drying conditions. Leclerc came out half a second clear of Verstappen, Sainz was third while Hamilton, whose car was severely 'spongy', came through in 15th, just 0.004s faster than Yuki Tsunoda, who was eliminated. With him went his teammate from Alpha Tauri, Pierre Gasly, the two Williams drivers Nicholas Latifi and Albon as well as Esteban Ocon from Alpine. "Well, in a timed lap before the rain starts," Ferrari said to Leclerc on the team radio when the second session began with dark clouds gathering. Sainz reacted and went up but Verstappen picked up speed before the Spaniard fell to bring another red flag. When the green light went on, few ventured into the wet conditions with little prospect of improved lap times - a situation that meant champion Mercedes were without a car in round three of qualifying for the first time since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix. With Russell and Hamilton went Mick Schumacher from Haas, Zhou Guanyu from Alfa Romeo and Stroll. The third qualifying started quickly with nine cars outside - Sainz couldn't take part - in difficult conditions. Verstappen slid and recovered at turn two before Kevin Magnussen crashed his Haas at Acque Minerale. On the resumption, Alonso slipped wide, Perez wobbled and Bottas ran away, but the usual suspects put in clean laps, Verstappen leading, ahead of Leclerc, by 0.079s from another red flag as Bottas hauled his car along on the Rivazza descent just under three gave up minutes remaining.

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F1 Emilia Romagna GP sprint race

Max Verstappen took pole position for Red Bull in the sprint race of the Emilia Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix on Friday. Here's how and when to watch the sprint race. (Author: Gardener)

Emilia Romagna GPIn a qualifying session punctuated by five separate red flags, Verstappen claimed his first pole of the 2022 season, beating F1 World Champion Charles Leclerc by 0.779s, despite easing under yellow flags caused by Valtteri Bottas , who stopped at the edge of the circuit with exhaust damage. With Leclerc unable to fight back, the rest of Q3 was disrupted by red flags set off by Bottas' Alfa Romeo and McLaren driver Lando Norris going off the road at Acque Minerali, allowing Verstappen to go regardless of the official Becoming the holder of pole position at the Emilia Romagna GP will be his final position in Saturday's sprint race. Despite causing the fifth and final red flag of qualifying, which he says cost him a shot on the front row, Norris held on to equal third place for McLaren behind Ferrari's Leclerc, while Kevin Magnussen was the best in fourth All-time F1 qualifying result for Haas, despite swerving early in Q3 to cause a brief red flag. Carlos Sainz made it into Q3 but was unable to take part in the session after crashing heavily midway through Q2, forcing the Ferrari driver to start from 10th in the sprint race. Norris crashed in Q3 but started the sprint from third place Norris crashed in Q3 but still started the sprint from third place A sprint race is essentially a shortened version of a normal race, taking place over a shorter distance, with the finish order determining the starting grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday. F1 has introduced sprint racing to increase the excitement of the entire race weekend and give fans a competitive session on each of the three days of track action (with qualifying moved to Friday afternoon) and it's hoped to make it a better experience overall . F1 has long attempted to make changes to the traditional race weekend format and while other options such as reverse grid races were considered, they were ultimately unpopular compared to sprint races. Each sprint race is run over 100km (under the normal race distance of 305km) and lasts around 25-30 minutes. The starting order for the sprint race will be decided in a traditional qualifying session on Friday afternoon. The sprint race for the Emilia Romagna GP starts at 4.30pm local time (3.30pm BST). Leclerc has been beaten from pole for only the second time this year after Sergio Perez finished first at Jeddah, but he will start the sprint from second place. In the UK, Formula 1 is only broadcast live on Sky Sports, with highlights available on Channel 4 a few hours after the end of the race. Fans who want to watch the race for free will have to wait until Saturday night (qualifying and sprint races) or Sunday night (race) to watch the highlights on Channel 4. In the UK, all F1 Practice, Qualifying and Races will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, with coverage of the Emilia Romagna GP sprint race from 2.30pm BST. Autosport will broadcast live text coverage of the sprint race here. In the UK, Channel 4 will broadcast sprint race highlights for the Emilia Romagna GP at 18:45 BST on Saturday. The full program runs for 90 minutes and includes qualifying, the sprint race and the conclusion of the key talking points of the race weekend so far. Throughout the 2022 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying session and race of every event. Magnussen was another to go off but recovered to set the fourth fastest time and give Haas its all-time best qualifying position Live radio broadcasts of every practice session, qualifying session and race for the 2022 F1 season will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website. Coverage of the Emilia Romagna GP sprint race begins at 15:25 BST on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app. What is the weather forecast for the sprint race in Imola? Dry, warm and cloudy weather is forecast for the start of the sprint race in Imola on Saturday afternoon. The temperature is said to be 20 degrees Celsius at the start, five degrees colder than during qualifying for the Australian GP last time.

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Sainz 'didn't push as much' before crash in Imola F1 qualifying

Carlos Sainz felt he wasn't putting on much pressure ahead of his crash in Formula 1 qualifying at Imola, which he fears will cost him "quite a lot" for the rest of the weekend. (Author: Gardener)

SainzFerrari driver Sainz crashed early on Friday during the second stage of qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and lost control on the exit of Rivazza after hitting the curb on the outside of the corner. Sainz had tried to improve his initial lap time before the oncoming rain set in and although his efforts were enough to put him into Q3 he was unable to compete in the session. That means Sainz will start tomorrow's 21-lap sprint race from 10th place, while teammate Charles Leclerc lines up on the front row after narrowly losing to Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the battle for pole. Sainz explained that he was surprised to lose the car in this way but took full blame for the mistake. "The goal was to do a banker lap knowing it was going to rain," said Sainz. The car surprised me in that corner [and] I missed it. "It's clear the track conditions are very tough there and I made a driving mistake that will cost me quite a bit going into the weekend: "But at least if I'm thinking positively I have the sprint qualifiers and the race to do it recover.” Marshals load Carlos Sainz Jr.'s Ferrari F1-75 car onto a truck Marshals load Carlos Sainz Jr.'s Ferrari F1-75 car onto a truck Sainz acknowledged that the damage to his car after "looked bad" after maneuvering. and that it "wouldn't be easy for the guys tonight" to finish the repairs.” The setback came after Sainz spun at the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago while trying to recover from a difficult qualifying session , which put him in ninth place Sainz said the aim at Imola now is "to get ahead and try to salvage some good points" over the sprint race and the Grand Prix. "The weekend isn't over yet, it's only Friday so there's still plenty of time," Sainz said.

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Max Verstappen beats Regen and Leclerc to take pole in F1 Imola GP sprint race

The World Champion won the right to lead Saturday's 21-lap race to decide P1, while Lewis Hamilton criticized his battered Mercedes after only managing 13th place (Author: Gardener)

MaxThe Imola marshals deservedly earned a warming glass of Vino Rosso as darkness fell after qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, so frequently have they been called upon to wave red flags during an agonizingly slow, rain-plagued session. His close finish had Red Bull's Max Verstappen earning 'pole position' but such is the equally painful structuring of this format, while his poles statistically count in the record books, it's only Saturday's sprint race that has the literal pole for decides the GP on Sunday. Verstappen beat Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to second and McLaren's Lando Norris to third. But for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, the rain, the flags, the pathetic format all paled next to the unbearable discomfort of his team's performance at Imola as they put on their worst performance in almost a decade. Hamilton just barely made it into Q2, finishing 13th with teammate George Russell in 11th. They were unlucky as the rain prevented them from setting better times in Q2, but they've obviously already struggled as their car suffered from a severe form of porpoise that has plagued them all season. It is the first time since the 2012 Japanese GP that a Mercedes has not made it into Q3. Hamilton was then spotted in a lively discussion with team boss Toto Wolff in the rear of the Mercedes garage and, perhaps in an unusual sign of his frustration, was critical of his assessment. "It wasn't a great session, of course it's disappointing," he said. We'll just keep working hard, but every weekend is a salvation." He also specifically declined to elaborate on the substance of his conversation with Wolff. "It was all internal stuff," Hamilton added. At the sharp end, Mercedes once ruled with an iron fist, it quickly became clear that qualifying would be decided by the two title protagonists Verstappen and Leclerc. It had opened on a damp but dry track at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari but heavy rain returned halfway through and made for difficult conditions at the business end of the session, which was punctuated by five red flag stops. Leclerc set the pace on his hot opening lap in Q3, powerful in the second and third sectors but with a time of 1min 28.778s he was just two hundredths clear of Verstappen. The drivers continued to lap as the clock ran out and Verstappen overtook his rival with a lap of 1m27.999s just short of another red flag as Valtteri Bottas stalled on track. The pair might have been able to contest again on a final hot run with three minutes to go but as the rain intensified the session was brought to a suitably disappointing finale that was put out of its misery with another red flag, as was Norris departed. "It was a hectic, long qualifying session," said Verstappen, who was nevertheless pleased that F1 was driving in Imola. It's an amazing track. We like to do it really hard and difficult.” The 21-lap sprint race on Saturday not only decides the starting grid for the race on Sunday, but also World Championship points are awarded to the top eight on a scale of eight to one. Pole gives Verstappen a chance to regain points in the title fight, which Leclerc leads at 71 while the world champion, who has stopped twice this season, sits sixth at 25. The sprint race was tried last year and the format has been tweaked, however the main issue remains unsatisfactory. This year F1 has decided that for statistical purposes the fastest driver took pole position on Friday, but the sprint race will still decide the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix. At this point a rider is on pole but is not recognized as having taken pole. F1's Byzantine, semantic war on the senses assumes that this driver will be referred to as "P1". A confusing mess that shouldn't satisfy either drivers or fans. Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz was an early victim, getting caught in Q2, driving too hard and losing the rear end at the second Rivazza turn, finishing tenth. Red Bull's Sergio Pérez was seventh, Botta eighth for Alfa Romeo and Sebastian Vettel ninth for Aston Martin. Mick Schumacher was 12th for Haas, Guanyu Zhou 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 will start from the back of the grid.

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Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have been spotted in a heated exchange after the F1 qualifying nightmare

TOTO WOLFF appeared to have stern words for Lewis Hamilton after the Mercedes star failed to make it out of Q2 on Friday. (Author: Gardener)

Lewis HamiltonSubscribe now and never miss the top F1 stories again. We use your registration to deliver content in a way you have consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include advertising from us and third parties, as we understand it. Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff appeared to be having heated conversations in the Mercedes garage shortly after the Brit's crash from Q2 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. It was another nightmare session for Hamilton, who was clearly struggling with porpoise problems, and he has to settle for P13 in Saturday's qualifying sprint race at Imola. Hamilton and Russell were both knocked out of Q2 after Carlos Sainz's crash produced a red flag which subsequently brought rain onto the track. The unfortunate end of Q2 capped a dismal start to the race weekend for the Silver Arrows and Wolff seems to be feeling the pressure. After Hamilton got out of the car in P13 for Saturday's qualifying sprint, camera footage showed the team boss in a heated argument with the seven-time world champion. Although the footage didn't clearly clarify what was being said, the perception of the incident was almost unanimous. Journalist Lukas Weese said on Twitter: "That was a testy exchange between Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff," while @_JTD28 added: "Wolff didn't tell Hamilton he loved him there." Things didn't fare much better for George Russell either . as the red flag meant he couldn't improve on his Q2 lap time, leaving him in P11. This puts the two Silver Arrows far behind in Saturday's sprint, leaving an intimidating gap to the other heavyweights on the grid. Hamilton said of the incident with Wolff: "It's all internal things. But yes we will keep working, it is what it is. Every weekend is a salvation.” It wasn't a great session. Yes. We came here optimistic and we know that everyone at the factory works really hard and when things don't come together it's disappointing. "There are things we should have done and shouldn't have done. However, we will work as hard as we can to get ahead in the sprint race. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, weather wise, and who knows, maybe we can work ." our way forward. "More red flags and drama in Q3 saw Max Verstappen take pole position for Saturday's sprint, followed by Charles Leclerc.

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Leclerc reveals why he and F1 rival Verstappen 'hated' each other as kids

Ferrari and Red Bull drivers fight for the Formula 1 World Championship and have been racing each other for over a decade. (Author: Gardener)

LeclercCharles Leclerc has revealed that he and Max Verstappen "once hated each other" during their days karting each other as kids. The Ferrari man is in contention with the reigning world champion for this year's Formula One drivers' title and the pair have battled for victory in each of the first three rounds of the season. However, the poor reliability of Verstappen's Red Bull car means he sits a low sixth in the standings, 46 points adrift of the Monegasque. This is the first season Leclerc has driven a car capable of consistently battling for race wins since joining Ferrari in 2019, but it is not the beginning of his rivalry with the Dutchman, whose history spans a decade reaches back. Both men were born within just over two weeks of each other in 1997, and Leclerc finished second to Verstappen in the 2013 CIK-FIA KZ World Karting Championship. The 24-year-old says his relationship with Verstappen was full of animosity at the time. "I think it's going to be very close, it's always been very close," Leclerc told the media ahead of this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. “Especially in the junior categories of karting I remember it was either me or him and that's why we ended up hating each other! But yeah, it's good times and in which parts I'm stronger or not, I don't know. I think we just have two very different driving styles. It's fun, I like it." Although Verstappen likely missed at least 36 points in the first three races of the season due to two unrelated mechanical failures in Bahrain and Australia, the Dutchman is still seen as Leclerc's most likely challenger, thanks to a stellar start to the season has a whopping 36-point lead over Mercedes driver George Russell in the overall standings. However, Leclerc believes the dynamic between him and Verstappen has changed significantly since their teenage years. "I think it's a very different situation," Leclerc explained. But at that time [in karting] there were episodes where sometimes we let ourselves be hated, but then you grow up. Back then it was just a dream. The fourth round of the 2022 Formula 1 season takes place this weekend at the Imola circuit in Italy. F1's new car designs make it 'more difficult' for Max Verstappen, Red Bull boss claims Mercedes won't be competing with Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 soon, warns Toto Wolff For more stories like this, visit our sports page.

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Thomas Tuchel reacts as Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams join Chelsea takeover bid

Thomas Tuchel says he is a huge admirer of Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams after it was revealed the sporting legends were involved in Sir Michael Broughton's bid. (Author: Gardener)

Thomas TuchelThomas Tuchel says he is a huge admirer of Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams after it emerged the sporting legends were involved in Sir Michael Broughton's bid to buy Chelsea. Broughton's offer is one of three being reviewed by Roman Abramovich, executives at Stamford Bridge and US bank Raine, which is overseeing the Premier League club's sale. Abramovich sells Chelsea after becoming one of several Russian oligarchs being sanctioned by the British government as part of its response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Seven-time Formula One world champion Hamilton and 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams are said to have pledged a relatively small amount of more than £200million from Broughton's bid. Responding to the takeover update at his pre-game press conference on Friday, Chelsea manager Tuchel said: "I just heard it. They are fantastic sports personalities on and off the field. “They take responsibility as people and are outstanding athletes at what they do, for which they have our greatest and my greatest respect. Competing with Sir Michael Broughton for ownership of Chelsea are two syndicates, each led by LA Dodgers part owner Todd Boehly and Boston Celtics part owner Steve Pagliuca. Arsenal fan Hamilton confirmed he was keen to invest in Chelsea earlier this week, telling reporters: "When I heard about it I was like, 'Wow'. “This is a team that is all about community. That's what really defines a football team, it's the people in and around them. They have been at the forefront of their D&I [Diversity and Inclusion] work and have become more diverse and progressive. Our goal is to continue some of the work they've already done and have even more impact and engagement with the community. “You have seen that there is still a long way to go in this sport to be more diverse and inclusive. It's an amazing platform to engage and educate many of the amazing fans that are out there. "And there's already some amazing talent on the team who have really taken a stand against discrimination and have worked very closely with the organization to move forward. I think the Chelsea fans, the community, are also very involved. Asked to clarify his football allegiances after he was pictured at a number of Arsenal games, Hamilton added: "I'm a sports fan - it's the biggest sport in the world and Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in the world and the most successful . ' For more stories like this, visit our sports page. Follow Metro Sport for the latest news

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Explain F1's return format and why it matters more ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP

After three entertaining and eventful sprint weekends last year, the Emilia Romagna GP format returns to Imola. But what are the benefits of the sprint, what has happened so far and what is new? (Author: Gardener)

Explain F1'sSprint: Explaining F1's return format and why it's more important ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP Sprint: Explaining F1's return format and why it's more important ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP After three fun and eventful weekends of sprints last year, the format returns back to Imola GP of Emilia-Romagna. Ahead of this weekend's action - all live on Sky Sports F1 - we answer some of the key questions about a format that's set to bring even more excitement in 2022. The Sprint is the name of the shortened Saturday race that debuted in 2021 and is back for 2022 to shake up the usual weekend format and add more wheel-to-wheel action with one more race. Practically a miniature version of what we see on Sundays, the riders race 100km – which is a third of the usual race distance and translates to 21 laps in Imola's case – in a full-throttle sprint for Grand Prix spots and points towards their championship hopes. We replace qualifying on Saturday and see the sprint at three more rounds in 2022, starting this weekend. It starts at 3.30pm and is live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event, with setup from 2.30pm. The 20 riders will start in the order in which they qualified on Friday night - more on that below - and their target positions 100km later will be the positions in which they line up for the start of Sunday's Grand Prix. If you win, you'll start from pole position on Sunday; If you're 10th, you're starting in the same place a day later, while if you have a technical problem or a crash, you're at the back and have everything to do. In 2021 only the top three riders scored points and there were only six points up for grabs; three for the winner, two for second and one for third. The winner receives eight points, the runner-up seven points, down to eighth place (one point). Not only do more drivers have a chance to score points - in addition to battling for the grid position for Sunday's race - but they can now get a total of 34 points over a weekend instead of the usual 26. Plus, if a rider wins all three sprints in 2022, that almost adds up to a race win (24). The Sprint had its critics before debuting at Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos in 2021 - but no one can deny that the new format provided entertainment over the weekends. Max Verstappen won the British GP opener after beating Lewis Hamilton off the line before Valtteri Bottas won both the Italian and Brazilian GP sprints for Mercedes, the latter with an incredible Hamilton charge through the field. While not directly responsible for controversy, the Sprint also had a role to play in the most dramatic moments last year. At Silverstone, Verstappen's advantage over Hamilton in the sprint meant the pair clashed on the opening lap of Sunday's race. Back in Monza, the pair collided a day after the sprint. At Interlagos, meanwhile, Hamilton's comeback driver saw the title rivals go wheel-to-wheel again on Sunday, with Verstappen avoiding a penalty for his driving and Hamilton winning to revive his championship. The usual three-part KO qualifying session took place on Friday instead of Saturday afternoon. Max Verstappen led the session, which continued as usual through Q1, Q2 and Q3 to find the fastest driver and determine the 1-20 order for the sprint which, as mentioned above, then set the grid for Sunday's race determines. There are just two practice sessions this weekend, one less than normal, each an hour long, as is now the case in F1 from this year. The first practice starts on Friday at 12:30 p.m., the second practice on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. before the sprint. In addition to the extra points, there is also a clarification of the pole position for the sprint events in 2022 following complaints from drivers. Last year, the winner of the sprint race received the pole for the record books, the pole position will now be given as usual at a weekend Credited to driver who sets the fastest time in Q3 in qualifying. So Verstappen has pole and will start at the front for the sprint on Saturday. However, the driver who wins the sprint will start Sunday's main Grand Prix from first, ie pole position. Unlike the Grand Prix, there is no mandatory tire change required and unless the cars break down, puncture or it's raining, don't expect them to leave the action on the track for the pit lane between lights out and the checkered flag. The 63 laps of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix around Imola remain unchanged and remain the main event of the weekend. The usual points apply for race day, which is 25 for victory (or a maximum of 26 if the winner also gets the fastest lap) up to one point for 10th place. Depending on its success this year, expect the sprint format to show up more on calendars in the future.

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Imola's result and grid positions as Max Verstappen takes pole in the sprint race and Lewis Hamilton falters

F1 Qualifying LIVE: Imola's result and grid positions as Max Verstappen takes pole in the sprint race and Lewis Hamilton falters (Author: Gardener)

Max VerstappenMax Verstappen will start Saturday's sprint race from pole position at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after both Mercedes cars failed to make Q3 at Imola on Friday night for the first time in almost 10 years. Max Verstappen will start Saturday's sprint race from pole position at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after both Mercedes cars failed to make Q3 at Imola on Friday night for the first time in almost 10 years. After Carlos Sainz's crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain started to pour in and made for wet conditions for the remainder of the session, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell retiring as they decided not to do another lap in the rain to risk. After Carlos Sainz's crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain started to pour in and made for wet conditions for the remainder of the session, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell retiring as they decided not to do another lap in the rain to risk. It was the first time since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix that Mercedes hadn't finished a car in the top 10 in qualifying as fighting continued early in the season. Toto Wolff said his team's "porpoise" problems were their worst this year. It was the first time since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix that Mercedes hadn't finished a car in the top 10 in qualifying as fighting continued early in the season. Toto Wolff said his team's "porpoise" problems were their worst this year. At the other end of the field, Verstappen will start ahead of Charles Leclerc after holding provisional pole in a rain-soaked red flag qualifying session. At the other end of the field, Verstappen will start ahead of Charles Leclerc after holding provisional pole in a rain-soaked red flag qualifying session. Verstappen set a faster time than Leclerc just as Valtteri Bottas pulled off the track to trigger the fifth red flag of the session, while Lando Norris surprisingly finished third. Verstappen set a faster time than Leclerc just as Valtteri Bottas pulled off the track to trigger the fifth red flag of the session, while Lando Norris surprisingly finished third. Follow all the reactions from qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix below: Follow all the reactions from qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix below: 12:01 , Michael Jones Sir Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to delivering the 'ultimate Dream" to live Broughton's bid to buy Chelsea. The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has joined the consortium behind the bid along with 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion and Hamilton's girlfriend Serena Williams. "Chelsea are one of the greatest teams in the world," said Hamilton. "When I heard about the opportunity I was like Wow, this is a great opportunity to be a part of something so great." Sir Martin took the time to talk to me on the phone and shared his and his team's goals explain, if that was the case, winning the tender, which was incredibly exciting and aligned very well with my values. “We [Hamilton and Williams] talked about it.

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