Verstappen wary of Red Bull’s reliability woes after taking pole at Imola

Max Verstappen provisionally claimed his first pole position of the season at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen was thrilled to take his first pole position of 2022 after a heavily disrupted qualifying session at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and hopes for better fortunes throughout the rest of the weekend than he has suffered in the opening three.

There were four red flags in Friday qualifying ahead of the sprint race on Saturday and, after negotiating the interruptions, Verstappen and Charles Leclerc locked out the front row, with the 24-year-old coming out on top after another red flag cut the final runs short.

Verstappen was pleased to take pole under such challenging circumstances, especially at an iconic, treacherous circuit such as the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

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“It was tricky out there with the rain… well, dry [and then] rain,” he said after he had taken pole.

“It was very slippery to also get the tyre temps to work, you know it was hectic, a long qualifying but of course in the end very happy to be here.

“It’s an amazing track and it also really punishes you if you make a mistake, you can all in the wall so that’s what we like to make it really hard and difficult so [I’m] very pleased of course with pole position.

“I know of course tomorrow and Sunday will be a bit different in terms of weather conditions but at least it’s a good start to the weekend.”

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The 24-year-old has suffered two reliability failures this year either side of a victory in Saudi Arabia, but the Red Bull side have seemed confident this week that they have managed to occlude the issues.

The Dutchman hopes the remainder of the weekend is a clean one for the Milton Keynes side.

“Our first three races in general haven’t gone to plan but we’ll try to have a good weekend here,” he explained.

His team-mate Sergio Perez endured a less satisfactory session, ending P7 after being unable to get a clean lap in due to two red flags in the final 12 minutes having made a mistake in his first lap.