Verstappen out to match at Imola old 31-year record in F1

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Max Verstappen is gunning for his fifth F1 win of 2024 at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but the Red Bull charger is also out to match a 31-year-old record currently held by F1 legend Alain Prost.

Verstappen’s track record in qualifying this season is unblemished, with the Dutchman securing pole at every single of the six events held to date.

But if the 58-time Grand Prix winner heads Saturday’s shootout at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, his streak of seven pole positions in a single season would match the run achieved by Prost with Williams in 1993, which remains the best-ever start to any F1 campaign in history.

While last year’s race at Imola was cancelled due to the tragic flooding that hit the Emilia Romagna region, the previous two rounds of racing at the venue were both won by Verstappen, with the Red Bull driver leading 124 of the aggregate 126 laps.

“Imola is always an iconic track to race at and we are excited to be back again after it was cancelled last year,” commented the championship leader in red Bull’s Emilia Romagna GP preview.

“We have had some great team results here and it is always interesting to race at a really old school track like this, as it is very technical, with some complex combinations of corners and braking zones.

The team in Milton Keynes and trackside have all been working really hard and I have been back at the factory this week working on the sim. It’s nice to be back racing in Europe again too, so we are looking forward to seeing what the weekend brings.”

Earlier this week, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko revealed that the Milton Keynes-based outfit would be rolling out at Imola an updated RB20, from which he is expecting a boost in performance.

Asked whether he believed that McLaren and Lando Norris were now championship contenders after their win last time out in Miami, Marko replied: “No, I’m not worried, Norris is over 50 points behind.

“We are also bringing an upgrade to Imola that I expect a lot from. But Miami shows that we have to concentrate on sports.”

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