F1 2021
Round 2

3 Honda-Powered Cars Will Start In The Top 5 At The Imola GP

it Imola

Three Honda-powered cars will start in the top five at Imola as Red Bull Racing agonisingly missed out on pole position with both cars by less than 0.1s. After a strong performance throughout the weekend, we unfortunately lost one car in Q1 when Yuki crashed early on in the Scuderia AlphaTauri.

3 Honda-Powered Cars Will Start In The Top 5 At The Imola GP

Yuki was on his first timed lap of the qualifying session when he tried to catch a snap of oversteer in the middle of the Variante Alta, but the car swapped ends just as it looked like he had gathered it up and he went backwards into the barrier, sustaining heavy damage. That brought out the red flags for nearly ten minutes while the car was recovered, and means Yuki will have to start from the back of the grid.

After that incident, the other three Honda-powered cars all progressed comfortably into Q2, where Sergio set the pace as the trio also advanced into the final part of qualifying without alarm. While Sergio and Pierre were on soft tyres, Max progressed on mediums and they will start on those compounds tomorrow.

That pace was a sign of things to come as Sergio was extremely quick in Q3, as the two Red Bulls chased Lewis Hamilton who was on provisional pole. Sergio’s final lap saw him fall just 0.035s short but secured the first front row start of his career, while Max made a mistake at the first chicane and had to settle for third, 0.087s away from pole

Pierre was also in the mix as he secured fifth on the grid and was only 0.379s from the fastest time himself, missing out on a place on the second row by 0.050s in an extremely competitive session.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
This was an exciting qualifying session and by the end, there were three Honda powered cars in the top five. For Red Bull Racing Honda, Sergio did very well to secure his very first Formula 1 front row start, while Max did not get the perfect lap, but his time was still very close to the front two. In the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, Pierre drove well to take his second consecutive fifth place grid position. So all these three drivers have a good chance of making it to the podium tomorrow. Yuki’s crash means he will start from the back of the grid, but his performance over the rest of the weekend was not bad, so we expect him to have an aggressive race and move up the order.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
What a massive result for us, knowing that I could win the race tomorrow is definitely a good feeling. There are a lot of positives to take out of today but I made a little mistake at the final turn, I was so close to pole. I can’t believe this is my first Red Bull start on the grid, as I started from the pit lane in Bahrain and it’s from the front of the grid! It just shows the amount of work we have put into this as a Team is paying off. Looking to the race tomorrow, Max and I are of course on different strategies, I am starting on the softs and Max is on the mediums so I think we have a good race ahead of us, especially as we’ve been able to apply the pressure to Mercedes.  It was a great result for us today but we can’t get too carried away, I know that there is a lot of work to be done and it’s important that we keep making good process.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
It was not a clean lap in Q3. I made some mistakes and when you go off on a qualifying lap it is never going to be good. The first sector of the first lap wasn’t good in the wake of another car so I knew there was a lot of time there and I pushed a bit more on the second lap but I ran wide on the exit of Turn 3 and cut the grass a bit which wasn’t very lovely for the lap time. Sometimes these things happen and you can’t do a perfect or near perfect lap all the time. There are always things you can do better even when you say it’s a perfect lap but today was far from that. I shocked myself that I had a lap like that as it’s been a long time since I felt this way after qualifying. Checo did a great job so congratulations to him. We have a good race car and tomorrow is where you score points. There are a lot of factors involved in the race like the weather and the start but for the Team it’s always good to have two cars up there, so I hope me and  Checo can make it more difficult for Mercedes to decide on a strategy.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I must say it was very good today, I’m really happy – the whole of Qualifying was a bit harder than in Bahrain, as I think quite a lot of teams have really upped the pace. I’m pleased I managed to put everything together in Q3 – it was an extremely clean lap – and to get the P5 at our home race here in Imola is a great result for the whole team. The gaps are extremely close – I think we’re just a couple of hundredths off Charles and just three or four tenths from the top guys – so it’s a great achievement today and we’re in a good position for tomorrow. We’ve got to prepare for every situation in the race – we could have some rain tomorrow, or maybe some drama up the front, so we’ve got to be ready to capitalise on every opportunity we can.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
The crash today in Qualifying was my mistake and I want to apologise to the team – I was pushing too hard into the entry of the chicane and just couldn’t control the car after that. It’s a shame because up until that corner the car felt really good and it was a strong lap – I think we could’ve gotten through to Q2 on just one compound. I believe there’s the potential for rain at the start of tomorrow’s race, so anything can happen, and I’ll try to push as hard as I can to make my way forward from the back. The car looks really good, so I’ll just reset my mind tonight and jump back in the car tomorrow to go racing.

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