Hamilton takes pole in Imola, Perez to start in 2nd

Sports Desk, Apr 17 (EFE).- Seven-time Formula One champion and title defender Lewis Hamilton will start the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in pole position.

The Mercedes driver narrowly pipped Red Bull’s Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez in the third round of qualifying to lead the grid with a fastest lap of 1:14.411 around the Imola circuit.

“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,” Hamilton told F1 media after the session.

Perez will start alongside in second place, ahead of teammate Max Verstappen.

The Mexican told F1 that he should have taken pole.

“I made a mistake on the final corner,” he said. “Tomorrow is what matters.”

“Anything can happen tomorrow, “ he added.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc bagged fourth spot on the grid with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in starting from fifth, ahead of the McLaren duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

Mercedes’s Valtteri Bottas will start in eighth place, followed by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

Some big hitters like Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel did not make the top-10 cut.

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