Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Lewis Hamilton eyes 98th pole as title nears

Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix qualifying promises to be a thriller with Formula One teams having only had one practice session at the iconic Imola circuit this morning, with no races having been held at this track since 2006.

F1 is back in northern Italy for the first time in 14 years with this race having previously been known as the San Marino Grand Prix.

The shortened weekend saw FP1 go ahead this morning instead of yesterday and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton topped the time-sheet, just ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstapppen. 

Hamilton has never driven this track in F1, doing so in GP2 in 2006, but posted up a lap time of 1:14.726 on soft tyres and will hope to front the pack once more in qualifying.

Fresh from breaking Michael Schumacher’s win record, the Brit is hoping to clinch a 98th pole as he closes in on a record-tying seventh drivers’ title.

His Mercedes team can win a record-breaking seventh straight constructors’ championship this weekend, with the 35-year-old sure to be pivotal if they are to do so.

The Red Bulls of Verstappen and Alex Albon must outscore Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas by 34 points to prevent another Silver Arrows party.

That has not happened since the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, meaning it is highly likely Mercedes will celebrate the first part of yet another double title triumph on Sunday.

But they must first focus on qualifying in the knowledge all manner of things could happen, with Verstappen just 0.297s back on Hamilton in FP1 to outpace Bottas.

Elsewhere on the grid, Pierre Gasly will hope to translate his fourth-placed finish in practice into qualifying in the AlphaTauri.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc managed an impressive fifth as his team-mate Sebastian Vettel loitered down in 12th.

Red Bull’s Albon could only come ninth while the Racing Points of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez – having been the third-best team so far this year – were only 10th and 11th.

Express Sport will be on hand with live qualifying results for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix from 1pm (BST) so stay tuned!

Q1 Results

Results will appear once the session takes place.

Q2 Results

Results will appear once the session takes place.

Q3 Results

Results will appear once the session takes place.

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