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Verstappen conducts Imola training before the qualifying round

IMOLA, Italy (AP) – Max Verstappen had the fastest time in the final practice of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix to raise his pole position later on Saturday.

The Red Bull driver was almost half a second faster than the rest of the pack. He was 0.456 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, 555 ahead of world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

On Friday, Mercedes did both drills with Walter Bottas և the fastest, just before Hamilton, as Red Bull survived the weekend.

The second Verstappen practice took just 10 minutes after the steering wheel problem.

On Saturday, Bottas was only eighth fastest, almost one second slower than Verstappen.

Emilia-Romagna GP is the second race of the Formula 1 season. Last month, Hamilton won the starting line-up in Bahrain, just before a thrilling fight ahead of Werstappen.

That race was, in fact, decided when Werstappen bypassed Hamilton, but turned far beyond the: lane. His team told him to return Hamilton to the position.

Back restrictions can also be a problem at Imola, as some drivers’ times have been canceled after running wide on Turn Nine.

Saturday’s practice fell short of a red flag shortly after Nicholas Latif lost control of Vilniov, slipped on gravel, and entered barricades.

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Additional AP car racing. Https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing և https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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