Mixed emotions for Red Bull Racing in Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying

    Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

    It was a day of mixed emotions for Red Bull Racing after Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying concluded, with Max Verstappen making history and Sergio Pérez struggling.

    Reigning World Champion Verstappen claimed an eighth consecutive Pole Position this season, tying the record set by legendary driver Ayrton Senna between the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

    It is a poignant record for Verstappen, who claimed it at the same race track that Senna fatefully lost his life 30 years ago, with much of the pre-race events focusing on celebrating the life of one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport.

    After some struggles in Free Practice sessions, the balance of the RB20 was clearly fixed for Verstappen to claim pole with an impressive 1:14.746 - edging out the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, who will start P2 and P3 respectively.

    After qualifying concluded, Verstappen said: "It's a great start to the year but also very special, it's thirty years since [Senna] passed away at this track, so very pleased to get pole here and, in a way, it's a nice memory to him."

    "He was an incredible Formula 1 driver, especially in qualifying laps as well. So yeah, a great day for me, great day for the team so I'm very very happy."

    Sergio Pérez, meanwhile, fared far worse than his teammate, with the Mexican failing to reach Q3 with a lap time of 1:15.706.

    Visa CashApp RB driver, and still a potential candidate to steal his seat next season, Daniel Ricciardo knocked out the 34-year-old by 0.015 seconds, seeing him start tomorrow's race in P11.

    It is easily the worst qualifying performance of the season for Pérez, who had qualified Top-5 in all previous races this season, with two front-row starts in Japan and China respectively.

    Speaking in his post-qualifying interviews, Pérez commented: "It hasn't been a very good weekend overall, we've been playing up and down with the car a lot."

    "Unfortunately, going into qualifying with these small margins, Q1 started quite badly [and] I had a poor lap. It turned out that we were safe and we started Q2 with the soft tyre."

    "Once we put on the new tyre on the second run, I surprisingly picked up a lot of re-grip and I got caught out with it because going into Turn 7 I just went straight, lost two-and-a-half tenths which, to me, would be enough to put me ahead."

    "I think we made some good progress with the car like Max showed, but unfortunately my side didn't get a chance to show that in Q3."

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