Photo via motorsport.com
For the third time this season, Formula 1 heads to a circuit in Italy, this time at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari near Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. This is the same track where three-time world champion Ayrton Senna tragically passed away after crashing on turn seven back in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. They have not raced at the circuit since 2006.
Valtteri Bottas starts on the pole for Mercedes, his fourth of the season. In his previous three pole starts, he won the Austrian Grand Prix, finished third in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and wrecked out of the Eifel Grand Prix. He is looking for race win number three (also won the Russian Grand Prix) this season as he currently sits 77 points behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s championship standings. Hamilton, who broke the all-time record for wins in F1 last week in the Portuguese Grand Prix, will start second.
Max Verstappen will start third for the seventh time this season as he sits 17 points behind Bottas for second in the driver’s standings.
Pierre Gasly, who resigned with AlphaTauri for the 2021 season, will start fourth after tying his career-best qualifying run. Daniel Ricciardo, who sits fourth in the driver’s standings, will start fifth. Alexander Albon will start sixth.
The driver who is five points below Ricciardo in the standings, Charles Leclerc, starts seventh. Leclerc finished fourth last week, his best finish since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix back in early August.
Daniil Kvyat starts eighth. This is a big race for him as his future with AlphaTauri is uncertain as his teammate, Gasly, resigned this week. He has only finished higher than 10th place three times and sits 14th in the driver’s standings.
Rounding out the top 10 are the two McLaren drivers, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. Both drivers jumped out to the top-five at the start of the Portuguese GP, including Sainz leading the first six laps of the race, only to fall back toward the pack. Sainz finished sixth and Norris finished 13th. The Racing Point drivers, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, will start 11th and 15th.
If you are watching in the United States, coverage for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will begin at 7:00 a.m. EST. You can catch the race on ESPN2.