F1 sprint LIVE: Result and grid positions as Max Verstappen wins and Lewis Hamilton struggles at Emilia Romagna GP

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·31-min read
F1 sprint LIVE: Result and grid positions as Max Verstappen wins and Lewis Hamilton struggles at Emilia Romagna GP
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Follow live coverage as Max Verstappen will starts Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on pole position after a dramatic late overtake on ahead of Charles Leclerc during Saturday’s sprint race saw him take the victory and top spot for the Grand Prix itself.

The Dutchman started from the front in Imola before losing the lead to Leclerc on the opening lap following a slow getaway. But after a frenetic conclusion to the 21-lap dash, Verstappen ruined Ferrari’s homecoming party by fighting his way ahead of Leclerc at the Variante Tamburello to take the chequered flag and pole position for tomorrow’s main event.

But there was further misery for Lewis Hamilton after he started 13th and finished only 14th - 24 hours after both Mercedes cars failed to make it through to Q3 for the first time in almost 10 years during qualifying at Imola on Friday evening.

Elsewhere in the sprint race, Sergio Perez took third ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz - who rose from P10 to P4 with a number of scintillating overtakes - with Lando Norris fifth for McLaren, down from a starting position of third.

Follow all the reaction from the sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix below:

F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint updates

  • Max Verstappen overtakes Charles Leclerc on the penultimate lap to win sprint race

  • The Red Bull takes pole for Sunday’s race

  • Sergio Perez crosses the line in 3rd

  • The other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz climbs through the field from P10 to P4

  • Lewis Hamilton languishing down the field and finishes P14

Max Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna sprint race after late move on Charles Leclerc

16:55 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen won Saturday’s Sprint race after dramatically passing Charles Leclerc on the penultimate lap.

Verstappen started from the front at Imola before losing the lead to Leclerc following a slow getaway.

But after a frenetic conclusion to the 21-lap dash, Verstappen ruined Ferrari’s homecoming party by fighting his way ahead of Leclerc at the Variante Tamburello to take the chequered flag and pole position for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

But there was further misery for Lewis Hamilton after he started 13th and finished only 14th.

Sergio Perez took third ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.

Max Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna sprint race after late move on Charles Leclerc

Changes in the driver’s championship

16:48 , Michael Jones

After the results of the Emilia Romagna sprint Carlos Sainz has move up to second in the driver’s championship with Max Verstappen now ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Charles Leclerc extended his lead to 40 points at the top of the table.

1. Charles Leclerc - 78 points

2. Carlos Sainz - 38

2. George Russell - 37

4. Sergio Perez - 36

5. Max Verstappen - 33

6. Lewis Hamilton - 28

Perez happy with P3

16:41 , Michael Jones

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez is pleased with his day’s work after moving up four places to start tomorrow’s Grand Prix in third. He said:

“It was important to minimise qualifying from yesterday. Today we managed to recover and I think we are in a great position tomorrow.

“It would be ideal to get a one-two tomorrow. That will be great for us but probably not for the Tifosi!”

Reaction from Leclerc

16:37 , Michael Jones

Charles Leclerc, who finished second, spoke after the race and touched on the support from the fans: “We struggled with the tyres at the end so we need to analyse that for tomorrow and make sure we are ready.

“The pace was good until then but we started to have some graining and lost it at the end.

“It is incredible. Every time we are in Italy we have so much support and it is amazing to see so many people in the stands.”

Max Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Sprint race after penultimate lap overtake

16:33 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen won Saturday’s Sprint race after dramatically passing Charles Leclerc on the penultimate lap.

Verstappen started from the front at Imola before losing the lead to Leclerc following a slow getaway.

But after a frenetic conclusion to the 21-lap dash, Verstappen ruined Ferrari’s homecoming party by fighting his way ahead of Leclerc at the Variante Tamburello to take the chequered flag and pole position for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

But there was further misery for Lewis Hamilton after he started 13th and finished only 14th.

Max Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Sprint race after penultimate lap overtake

Red Bull and Ferrari storm ahead

16:28 , Michael Jones

Red Bull and Ferrari are clearly the two fastest teams this season. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz went from 10th to fourth and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez from seventh to third during the sprint race whilst Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fought it out for first place.

There are plenty of worries for Mercedes, though. In total they lost one place on their starting positions as Lewis Hamilton dropped to P14.

Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Sprint!

16:22 , Michael Jones

Emilia Romagna Sprint results

16:19 , Michael Jones

Here’s how the grid will look for tomorrow’s GP:

1) Max Verstappen

2) Charles Leclerc

3) Sergio Perez

4) Carlos Sainz

5) Lando Norris

6) Daniel Ricciardo

7) Valtteri Bottas

8) Kevin Magnussen

9) Fernando Alonso

10) Mick Schumacher

11) George Russell

12) Yuki Tsunoda

13) Sebastian Vettel

14) Lewis Hamilton

15) Lance Stroll

16) Estenban Ocon

17) Pierre Gasly

18) Alex Albon

19) Nicholas Latifi

20) Zhou Ganyu

Reaction from Max Verstappen

16:15 , Michael Jones

My start was not very good. It took a while to put the pressure on. I think we were a bit better on our tyres towards the end of the race. We had a good fight into turn two.”

Emilia Romagna sprint results

16:12 , Michael Jones

The top eight finishers all picked up extra points from the sprint. Max Verstappen won the race but Charles Leclerc extends his lead at the top of the driver’s championship.

  1. Verstappen (Red Bull) 8pts

  2. Leclerc (Ferrari) 7pts

  3. Perez (Red Bull) 6pts

  4. Sainz (Ferrari) 5pts

  5. Norris (McLaren) 4pts

  6. Ricciardo (McLaren) 3pts

  7. Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 2pts

  8. Magnussen (Haas) 1pt

Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Sprint!

16:09 , Michael Jones

That was another fantastic battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. Verstappen started poorly but held in there to reclaim pole position for tomorrow.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Verstappen wins Emilia Romagna Sprint!

16:05 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen holds off Charles Leclerc and will have pole position tomorrow!

Leclerc takes P2, Sergio Perez P3 and Carlos Sainz P4.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

16:04 , Michael Jones

Elsewhere Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas squeezes ahead of Kevin Magnussen to get into P7 and pick up another point if he can hold on to the place.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

16:02 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen takes the lead! He goes around the outside of Charles Leclerc and exits the turn in front. There’s still one lap to go though so there might be time for another DRS overtake.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

16:01 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen is really keeping the pressure on Charles Leclerc but can’t close the distance on the back straight with three laps to go.

Carlos Sainz has taken Lando Norris and is up to P4. The Red Bulls and Ferraris hold the top four spots now.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:58 , Michael Jones

Five laps to go and Max Verstappen has been slowly gaining on Charles Leclerc. He’s within the DRS detection zone distance and could be poised to set up a tense finish.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:56 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo wants nothing to do with Carlos Sainz as the Ferrari flies past him with DRS enabled. Sainz started in 10th and is now up to P5 with McLaren’s Lando Norris ahead of him.

Mick Schumacher has got Sebastian Vettel!

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:54 , Michael Jones

More good work from Carlos Sainz as the Ferrari overtakes Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. The Haas is on medium tyres and has fallen three places already.

Eight laps to go. Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher are engaging in an interesting contest for P10. Schumacher lining up the DRS overtake but Vettel holds him off.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:51 , Michael Jones

Beautiful move from Daniel Ricciardo to squeeze ahead of Kevin Magnussen on the inside. Carlos Sainz is eyeing up the Haas now as well.

Sergio Perez continues to sweep through the field he’s reigned in Lando Norris and moved up to P3.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:49 , Michael Jones

Charles Leclerc has 1.2 second lead over Max Verstappen who can’t get within DRS range on the leader.

Carlos Sainz has Daniel Ricciardo in his sights with both cars close behind Kevin Magnussen who has work to do to hold off the McLaren.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:47 , Michael Jones

The Red Bull’s really shift on the straight. Sergio Perez engages the DRS to catch Kevin Magnussen on the back straight and flies past the Haas before the chicane.

Lewis Hamilton has got ahead of Lance Stroll as well.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:45 , Michael Jones

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso is keeping Carlos Sainz at bay and there’s a nice battle developing between Kevin Magnuessen and Sergio Perez.

Sainz goes for the overtake on the outside and has the pace to get in front of Alonso! He’s up to P7.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:42 , Michael Jones

Three laps under the safety car isn’t ideal for Mercedes who need heat in the tyres to put in their best times. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is already up to P8 as Charles Leclerc gets the race back underway for lap five.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:37 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton lost a couple of places and is down to P15 as Pierre Gasly comes out of the pits at the back of the pack. Sergio Perez also managed to overtake Daniel Ricciardo to move up to P5.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:35 , Michael Jones

Zhou Ganyu is off the track in sector two and the saftey car has to come out already. Pierre Gasly has a lot of damage on his front right tyre but makes it back to the pits.

Lights out!

15:34 , Michael Jones

Here we go! Max Verstappen has pole position but doesn’t get away well as he and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc race towards the first corner.

Leclerc is quicker and gets ahead of the Red Bull!

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:31 , Michael Jones

Kevin Magnussen, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi are on the medium tyres with the rest of the pack electing to go with the softs.

They all head out for a warm up lap.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:29 , Michael Jones

Ones to watch out for. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen starts in P4 and if he can hold onto that place during the sprint he’ll be over the moon.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo enjoys the sprint but has work to do from P6 especially as he didn’t make the track during practice today. His teammate Lando Norris sets of in P3 and will be thinking of upsetting the two leaders, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Towards the back of the pack are George Russell (P11) and Lewis Hamilton (P13). They’ll both be thinking of moving as far up the field as possible.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:25 , Michael Jones

The teams are almost ready to go before Lights Out. The sprint will be 21 laps of the track, there are no mandatory pit stops and the final results determines the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:19 , Michael Jones

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:14 , Michael Jones

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says that he’s expecting good things from Sergio Perez ahead of the sprint. He told Sky Sports:

“It’s important to get a good start, do you take a soft tyre that gets you off the line better or the medium that’s more robust? Sergio has to get his elbows out, get stuck in. If he can get in the top four today, that would be a great performance.

“I am sure it is going to be an anxious race for some of the reliability guys but it always is.”

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:11 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton had the best performance in a sprint race last season moving up 15 places at the Brazilian GP weekend. Can he do something similar today?

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:08 , Michael Jones

Lando Norris radios the McLaren garage to point out a few specks of rain around. The clouds are a little darker than earlier in the day but the wet weather should hold off for the duration of the Sprint.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

15:03 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo’s engine has been fixed and he’s good to go into the Sprint for McLaren. Valtteri Bottas had an exhaust issue yesterday which kept him in the garage for FP2 this morning and his car has had to be completely rebuilt with a new chasis.

The drivers have left the pits for their warm up laps. The Sprint race gets underway around 3:30pm.

Lewis Hamilton not expecting ‘groundbreaking’ improvement from Mercedes at Imola

15:00 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton insists Mercedes have not made any ‘groundbreaking’ additions to their cars ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.

The reigning constructors’ champions have failed to show they can keep pace with Ferrari and Red Bull in the opening three races of the season.

Hamilton managed an impressive podium in the opener in Bahrain, but could only secure tenth at the Saudi Arabian GP.

While Mercedes then showed signs of improvement in Australia as Hamilton came fourth and teammate George Russell managed third, they still have some way to go if they are going to consistently challenge for victories.

And Hamilton admits they have not upgraded the car a great deal since the Melbourne race a fortnight ago.

Lewis Hamilton not expecting ‘groundbreaking’ improvement from Mercedes at Imola

Emilia Romagna sprint race

14:56 , Michael Jones

The Tifosi are out in force at Imola this weekend. They’ll be cheering on the Ferraris this afternoon.

Emilia Romagna sprint race

14:53 , Michael Jones

Will we see a battle between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen this afternoon?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

What is a sprint race in F1 and how does qualifying work?

14:50 , Michael Jones

Following its success in 2021 Formula One season, the F1 Commission has approved plans to run the F1 sprint format at three Grand Prix weekends this season.

As it was last year, the F1 sprint is a 100km dash with no mandatory pit stops and drivers racing flat-out to the chequered flag.

F1 sprint was introduced last season with the result determining the grid for the weekend’s main event, the Grand Prix on Sunday.

For the 2022 season, the points system has been tweaked, with the top eight drivers scoring points, where previously it was just the top three finishers. It’s also now more lucrative as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, rather than three last year.

What is a sprint race in F1 and how does qualifying work?

Emilia Romagna sprint race

14:46 , Michael Jones

There are vastly different conditions at the Imola Circuit today. Yesterday was cold, wet and very slippery with the drivers finding it tough to stick to the dry line.

Today it’s a lot drier, the sun is out and conditions seem good for racing. The tactics of the sprint will be interesting. Teams have to decide on the ideal fuel level and whether to try and get through the race on one set of tyres without hurting performance.

At Imola the 100km dash means the cars have to run 21 laps - almost a third of a Grand Prix - Sergio Perez spent 18 laps on soft tyres in practice earlier today. Is that going to be the gameplan for Red Bull?

How does the Sprint work?

14:43 , Michael Jones

Following its success in 2021 Formula One season, the F1 Commission has approved plans to run the F1 sprint format at three Grand Prix weekends this season.

As it was last year, the F1 sprint is a 100km dash with no mandatory pit stops and drivers racing flat-out to the chequered flag.

F1 sprint was introduced last season with the result determining the grid for the weekend’s main event, the Grand Prix on Sunday.

For the 2022 season, the points system has been tweaked, with the top eight drivers scoring points, where previously it was just the top three finishers. It’s also now more lucrative as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, rather than three last year.

George Russell tops final practice before sprint race in boost for Mercedes

14:38 , Michael Jones

George Russell provided Mercedes with a timely boost by finishing fastest in final practice ahead of Saturday’s Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows failed to get both cars into Q3 in qualifying for the first time in a decade with Russell and team-mate Lewis Hamilton set to line up in 11th and 13th respectively for this afternoon’s 21-lap dash around Imola.

But England’s Russell led the way in the concluding practice session ahead of the Sprint race which determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

George Russell tops final practice before sprint race in boost for Mercedes

Emilia Romagna sprint race

14:31 , Michael Jones

Just under an hour before the sprint gets underway at Imola. Here’s how the starting grid will look for the race:

1. Max Verstappen - Red Bull

2. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari

3. Lando Norris - McLaren

4. Kevin Magnussen - Haas

5. Fernando Alonso - Alpine

6. Daniel Ricciardo - McLaren

7. Sergio Perez - Red Bull

8. Valtteri Bottas - Alfa Romeo

9. Sebastian Vettel - Aston Martin

10. Carlos Sainz - Ferrari

11. George Russell - Mercedes

12. Mick Schumacher - Haas

13. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes

14. Guanyu Zhou - Alfa Romeo

15. Lance Stroll - Aston Martin

16. Yuki Tsunoda - Alpha Tauri

17. Pierre Gasly - Alpha Tauri

18. Nicolas Latifi - Williams

19. Esteban Ocon - Alpine

20. Alex Albon - Williams

Work to do for both Mercedes if they want to finish in the points but the main shootout is looking likely to be between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The start off the line could be crucial.

Charles Leclerc reminding Red Bull chief of Max Verstappen

14:25 , Michael Jones

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko believes Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has similarities to Max Verstappen and predicts a shift at the top of Formula One over the coming years.

During the 2021 season, there was a generational clash between seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen. The outcome of the season long battle ended in controversial fashion and Marko now believes there is a change in the guard at the top of Formula One with new drivers fighting for pole.

Ferrari pair Leclerc and Carlos Sainz lead the drivers championship and with Brit duo Lando Norris and George Russell also showing potential.

Charles Leclerc reminding Red Bull chief of Max Verstappen

‘I thought he was an Arsenal fan?’ Max Verstappen pokes fun at Lewis Hamilton’s role in Chelsea takeover bid

14:15 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen has poked fun at rival Lewis Hamilton’s involvement in a Chelsea takeover bid by saying: “I thought he was an Arsenal fan”.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has been named as part of Sir Martin Broughton’s consortium hoping to buy the west London club.

Hamilton, who is gearing up for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, has declared himself as an Arsenal supporter on a number of occasions.

In an interview with the PA news agency, world champion Verstappen said: “I am a PSV fan and I would never buy Ajax.

“And if I was going to buy a football club I would want to be the full owner and to take the decisions myself, not own just a tiny percentage.

Max Verstappen pokes fun at Lewis Hamilton’s role in Chelsea takeover bid

Max Verstappen explains why Charles Leclerc rivalry feels ‘natural’

14:05 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen admits that his rivalry with Charles Leclerc is “more natural” than that with Lewis Hamilton due to the history he has with the Ferrari driver.

The Dutchman competed against Leclerc as teenagers in karting before their battles in Formula One. The pair famously locked horns back in 2019 when at the Austrian Grand Prix, Verstappen stole the Monegasque’s first victory on the final lap.

Verstappen and Leclerc enjoyed clean duels for victory at the first two rounds of the 2022 season, with the Ferrari man coming out on top in Bahrain and the Red Bull driver fighting back in Saudi Arabia.

Max Verstappen explains why Charles Leclerc rivalry feels ‘natural’

Lewis Hamilton struggles again as Ferrari quickest at Imola practice ahead of qualifying

13:50 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton finished only 18th as Charles Leclerc set the pace in opening practice for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

A fortnight on from a sun-drenched Melbourne, Formula One reconvened at a rain-hit Imola for the fourth round of the new season.

Leclerc, who has won two of the opening three races, holds a commanding 34-point lead at the top of the championship.

Lewis Hamilton struggles again as Ferrari quickest at Imola practice

‘How far off are we? This is crazy’: Lewis Hamilton reveals qualifying frustration over team radio

13:40 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton’s struggles at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix continued as both Mercedes cars failed to advance to the final session of qualifying for the first time in almost 10 years at Imola.

Hamilton only managed to scraped to the second session of qualifying, coming in 15th by just 0.004s, and that is where his day ended. The seven-time world champion finished 13th and Mercedes’ problems were compounded as George Russell finished 11th, also failing to make it through to the top-10 shootout.

After Carlos Sainz crashed into the wall to trigger a red flag, both Hamilton and Russell decided not to go back out to the track during Q2 on wet tyres. Hamilton had let his frustrations known over the team radio in Q1, saying: “How far off are we, man? This is crazy.”

‘How far off are we? This is crazy’: Lewis Hamilton reveals qualifying frustration

Problem that caused Max Verstappen retirement in Australia has been fixed, insists Christian Horner

13:25 , Michael Jones

Christian Horner has said the issues with Max Verstappen’s car which forced him to retire from the Australian Grand Prix have been fixed.

It was the second time Verstappen didn’t finish a race this season due to faults with his car. The defending champion is in sixth in the driver standings as a result and the Red Bull star will have to rebuild his season from the Imola race on Sunday.

“We’ve been working with our colleagues at HRC in Japan, and they found the issue and they resolved it,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

Problem that caused Max Verstappen DNF has been fixed, insists Christian Horner

George Russell broke part of car interior during Imola practice due to severe ‘porpoising’

13:10 , Michael Jones

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed George Russell broke the interior of his car due to porpoising during Friday’s practice session at Imola.

Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton had issues with bouncing on their first outing at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Wolff said the issue is the worst he has ever seen it and that the cars aren’t “drivable”.

“W had George bouncing so much that he actually broke the stay on the floor,” Wolff told Sky, “You can’t drive [down the main straight] – you have to lift on the straight.”

George Russell broke part of interior at Imola due to severe ‘porpoising’

Charles Leclerc excited by chance to fight for F1 title

12:55 , Michael Jones

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is happy to be back fighting for the drivers’ championship after a sensational start to the 2022 season.

The Monegasque driver has already picked up victories in Bahrain and Australia to go with his second place in Saudi Arabia.

Leclerc’s impressive opening three races have left him with a huge 34-point lead in the standings as his title rivals have suffered various pace and reliability issues.

Charles Leclerc excited by chance to fight for F1 title

Lewis Hamilton explains heated qualifying discussion with Toto Wolff

12:45 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton was involved in a heated discussion with Toto Wolff after a poor qualifying performance ensured he will start Saturday’s Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 13th on the grid.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton scraped out of Q1 by just four thousandths of a second before Carlos Sainz crashed out and then the rain arrived in Q2.

The newly-damp track meant Hamilton could not improve on his sole lap, leaving him with a woeful grid slot for Saturday’s 21-lap dash around Imola – the finishing order of which determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton explains heated qualifying discussion with Toto Wolff

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:38 , Michael Jones

A better start to the day for Mercedes. What can they bring to the sprint race later on. Will Ferrari and Red Bull step it up again this afternoon?

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:35 , Michael Jones

The chequered flag is waved as Lando Norris makes it back out in the last minute of practice. He’ll have the chance to put in one last quick lap as he gets to grips with the new brakes.

There are a few practice starts as the session winds down. The next time these cars come out on track will be for the sprint race this afternoon.

George Russell tops the leaderboard for Mercedes with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc in P2 and P3.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:28 , Michael Jones

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:26 , Michael Jones

Most of the teams have been looking at how far they can go on the soft tyres. Sergio Perez went 18 laps without a significant drop off in speed which is only three laps below the sprint race this afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton reports that his rears are overheating. Lando Norris has his helmet back on and my be able to get back out there for the last 5 minutes of the session.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:21 , Michael Jones

10 minutes to go in FP2. Sergio Perez has set a P2 of (+0.081) on medium tyres. That’s a show of how quick his Red Bull could be for the sprint race.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:13 , Michael Jones

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:10 , Michael Jones

Mercedes and Aston Martin are leading the way in terms of number of laps. Both teams are trying to gather as much information as possible ahead of this afternoon’s sprint.

20 minutes of FP2 to go.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:07 , Michael Jones

A closer look at one of Lewis Hamilton’s laps clearly shows the level of porpoising in his Mercedes as he bounces around in his seat and sparks fly from under the car as the floor hits the track. It doesn’t seem as severe as in some of the earlier races though.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Emilia Romagna practice 2

12:00 , Michael Jones

Oh hello. George Russell sets the new fastest lap with a 1:19.457 run on the soft tyres. Have Mercedes found a bit rhythm on the drier track?

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:57 , Michael Jones

Good viewing for Red Bull after the first third of FP2. Ferrari are out on the medium tyres so aren’t yet challenging the top of the leaderboard.

Mercedes will be pleased with that lap from Lewis Hamilton too. Plenty of time left for all this to change though.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:54 , Michael Jones

Valtteri Bottas’ issue is with the exhaust which needs to be replaced. This is the same problem that struck him at the back end of qualifying yesterday.

Lando Norris has pulled into the pit lane and word is that he’s got a problem with his brakes. That means both McLaren’s are undergoing repairs.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:53 , Michael Jones

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:50 , Michael Jones

Sergio Perez’s 1:19.815 still leads the field but Lewis Hamilton’s first run on the soft tyres sends his Mercedes into P2 (+0.208).

40 minutes on FP2 to go.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:48 , Michael Jones

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have had little trips off the circuit, Hamilton skips across the grass after a lock up on the front wheel while Verstappen runs wide and has a bouncy trip back over to the track.

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell is up to P7 with his quickest lap on the medium tyres.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:42 , Michael Jones

Daniel Ricciardo’s problem is an issue with the power unit. The engine, rear end and floor have all been taken off the car and it seems higly unlikely that he’ll feature in FP2.

Sergio Perez sets a new fastest lap of 1:19.815 Yesterday’s quickest lap was into the 1 minute 18 second mark. That looks set to be beaten today.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:40 , Michael Jones

It was a decent 1:21 for Hamilton on the mediums but he is quickly overtaken on the leaderboard by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and both Red Bulls. All three cars are using the soft tyres which seems to be the way to go for more speed.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:38 , Michael Jones

McLaren’s Lando Norris sets a 1:23.821 on soft tyres. Zhou Ganyu (+1.005) is out on medium tyres for Alfa Romeo. Which of these different sets of tyres will prove quicker?

Lewis Hamilton also has mediums and looks to be on a good run for Mercedes.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:35 , Michael Jones

There’s an issue with Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren and Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo. Both cars are stuck in the garage and word is that Ricciardo may not make it out at all for practice.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:32 , Michael Jones

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll heads out early for FP2. He’ll be starting the sprint in P15 later on so will want to get to grips with the conditions quickly.

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:29 , Michael Jones

Imola Circuit is the home race for Ferrari and the Prancing Horse come into this weekend in a very dominant position. Charles Leclerc leads the driver’s championship by 34 points and Ferrari also lead the constructors championship.

The icing on the cake would be a victory for one of the Ferraris come Sunday but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will do his best to upset the homecoming. He won pole position in qualifying and will lead the grid for the sprint today.

We could be in for an exciting battle between Verstappen and Leclerc this afternoon.

Magnussen impresses in qualifying

11:26 , Michael Jones

Kevin Magnussen has had a great start to his return to Formula 1 this season and continued that good run in qualifying yesterday finishing P4 for Team Haas.

Can he convert that position on the grid into points for the American team during this afternoon’s sprint race?

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Max Verstappen beats Charles Leclerc to pole for Imola sprint race as both Mercedes cars fail to make Q3

11:21 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen will start Saturday’s sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on pole position after both Mercedes cars failed to make it through to Q3 for the first time in almost 10 years at Imola on Friday evening.

After Carlos Sainz’s crash in Q2 triggered a red flag, the rain began to pour and brought wet conditions for the remainder of the session, leaving both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell eliminated as they opted to not risk a further lap in the rain.

It marked the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2012 that Mercedes failed to have a car finish in the top 10 of qualifying as their early season struggles continued, with Toto Wolff saying his team’s issues with ‘porpoising’ were their worst yet this year.

Max Verstappen on pole for Imola sprint race both Mercedes cars fail to make Q3

F1 drivers push for sprint race changes

11:17 , Michael Jones

Formula One drivers would favour further adjustments to the sprint race format, notably to make it a standalone event rather than deciding grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

The introduction of the sprint races were a new innovation brought in at the start of the 2021 season and this year they will be held at the Emilia-Romagna, Austrian and Sao Paulo Grands Prix.

Modications have already been made for the 2022 season, with the points system being tweaked. Now the top eight drivers score points, where previously it was just the top three finishers. It’s also more lucrative as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, rather than three last year.

F1 drivers push for sprint race changes

Emilia Romagna practice 2

11:13 , Michael Jones

Today’s conditions are contrastingly different to qualifying. Yesterday was cold, wet and slippy on track. Today the clouds are less grey, the sun is out, the track is dry and the temperature has raised.

What that means is we should see quicker lap times, less red flags (fingers crossed on that one) and more exciting racing. Free practice 2 kicks off around about 11:30am UK time and the drivers will have an hour on the circuit to get familiar with the conditions and learn more about which set ups will be ideal for this afternoon’s sprint.

Mercedes in particular will want to have a good practice as they’ve got work to do in the sprint to try a position themselves well for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.

What is a sprint race in F1 and how does qualifying work?

11:11 , Michael Jones

Following its success in 2021 Formula One season, the F1 Commission has approved plans to run the F1 sprint format at three Grand Prix weekends this season.

As it was last year, the F1 sprint is a 100km dash with no mandatory pit stops and drivers racing flat-out to the chequered flag.

F1 sprint was introduced last season with the result determining the grid for the weekend’s main event, the Grand Prix on Sunday.

For the 2022 season, the points system has been tweaked, with the top eight drivers scoring points, where previously it was just the top three finishers. It’s also now more lucrative as the driver who finishes P1 will receive eight points, rather than three last year.

What is a sprint race in F1 and how does qualifying work?

F1 grid today: Starting positions for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race

11:06 , Michael Jones

Max Verstappen will start today’s F1 Sprint at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on pole position after beating Charles Leclerc to top spot in Friday’s qualifying session.

Verstappen was able to hang on to his provisional pole in a rain-soaked and red flag-hit session after topping Leclerc’s time just as Valtteri Bottas pulled up in Q3.

And when qualifying was resumed, Lando Norris hit the wall to trigger the fifth red flag of the afternoon at Imola and leaving the drivers unable to improve upon their times.

Meanwhile, Mercedes suffered a disastrous day as both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell failed to make it into Q3.

Here’s the starting grid for today’s F1 Sprint:

F1 grid today: Starting positions for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race

Emilia Romagna sprint race

11:01 , Michael Jones

Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Formula 1’s Sprint race from Imola Circuit at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished a cold and wet qualifying session yesterday with pole position and will start at the front of the grid for today’s sprint, closely followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both failed to make Q3 yesterday and will start in P13 and P11 respectively for today’s race. The sprint is a 100km dash with no pit stops and points are awarded to the drivers who finish in the first eight places.

The final results of the sprint also determines the grid positions for tomorrow’s GP so there’s a lot at stake this afternoon. The race starts around 3:30pm but first there will be another practice session to allow the teams time to assess the conditions on track.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting