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Max Verstappen Ranks Pole Position in Imola as One of the Best Ever Since He Started Dominating the Grid

Nischay Rathore

Max Verstappen Ranks Pole Position in Imola as One of the Best Ever Since He Started Dominating the Grid

Max Verstappen grabbed his eighth pole position in a row in Imola, on a weekend where Red Bull seemed far from the best. Verstappen’s RB20 was all over the track during the practice sessions, so getting a P1 starting position was incredibly special for the Dutchman.

After qualifying on Saturday, Verstappen took to the media (as quoted by Formula Passion) and said,

“It is certainly one of my best poles in the last two years. But perhaps even more so, because we have never reversed the situation like this”

However, Verstappen’s pole did not come without a tough fight. Before qualifying, the 26-year-old struggled to find the right balance in the car to tackle the tough circuit. On several occasions, he found himself going off the track, but thankfully, didn’t have a close shunt with the barriers.

Ferrari and McLaren took advantage of Red Bull’s misery in these practice sessions, with Charles Leclerc topping FP1 and FP2, and Oscar Piastri going fastest in FP3. Both looked mighty comfortable and were favorites to compete for the pole position. That was until Verstappen pulled off three brilliant laps in each part of qualifying.

Verstappen’s pole in Imola was his eighth in a row, which brings him on level with Ayton Senna as the driver with the most consecutive P1 finishes in qualifying.

This was all possible because of Red Bull’s tweaks to the RB20. But credit also goes to Max Verstappen, who put up a brilliant display despite being underconfident about his chances heading into the session.

Still a long way to go for Max Verstappen

Red Bull got P1 thanks to Verstappen, but they are far from the most dominant team. This was evident with Sergio Perez’s struggles on the track. The Mexican driver caved under pressure and failed to make it out of Q2, and will start the Emilia Romagna GP from P11.

As often is the case, Red Bull’s hopes for a win lie completely on Verstappen’s shoulders. However, he will be wary of the threat from the McLaren and Ferrari drivers. Piastri, Lando Norris, and the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are all in the mix for a win on Sunday.

With the upgrades Ferrari has brought, Leclerc and Sainz will be the outside favorites to catch the reigning World Champion by surprise. In most possibilities, the race in Imola is expected to be a thrilling affair, and far from a cakewalk for Max Verstappen.

About the author

Nischay Rathore

Nischay Rathore


Nischay Rathore is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush with over a thousand articles under his belt. An avid Ayrton Senna admirer, Nischay embarked on his sports journalism journey despite completing graduation in Law. When not covering the high-speed thrills of the pinnacle of motorsport, he can be seen enjoying crime thrillers and 90s gangster movies with a hearty bowl of buttery popcorn.

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