Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Verstappen battles to break Ferrari dominance

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The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is the first race weekend this season to host a ‘sprint session’, pushing the traditional qualifying format in Friday. It means teams and drivers have had less time to work on the Imola track and decide on the necessary set-up.

Friday morning’s practice session saw Ferrari dominate with Max Verstappen 1.4 seconds off the pace. Carlos Sainz still has work to do to close the gap to his team-mate with Charles Leclerc the dominant driver in the session.

But it proved to be a troublesome practice session for Mercedes as they struggled for grip throughout. George Russell was 10th quickest while Lewis Hamilton was all the way down in 18th with only Guanyu Zhou and Nicholas Latifi behind the seven-time world champion.

It appears as though Hamilton will once again be battling to avoid a disappointing early exit in qualifying, which starts at 4pm BST. Express Sport is on hand to provide live updates throughout qualifying.

Slight delay

No confirmation as of yet but it looks like the slated 4pm start time for qualifying will be pushed back.

Qualifying for F3 has only just finished with little time for the paddock to be reset.

We’ll find out shortly…

Good Afternoon

Hello and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Today’s qualifying session in Imola will set the grid for the first Sprint of the season on Saturday.

Much like last year, the sprint result on Saturday will then dictate the grid for Sunday’s official race.

But the major change to sprint’s in 2022 is more points being on offer. Only the top three drivers were awarded points last year but this time eight drivers will score. A maximum eight points will be on offer for the winner and one for the eighth-placed driver.

Those points could prove crucial in the championship battle this season and today’s qualifying session will set the stage for tomorrow’s sprint. Stay tuned for live updates throughout.

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