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Live Reporting

Michael Emons

All times stated are UK

  1. F1 in Africa: The fast and the fragile - the story of the first South African GP

    Graham Hill
    Image caption: Graham Hill

    The current F1 season may be long - but in 1962, it did not finish until after Christmas.

    The first South African Grand Prix, held at the Prince George circuit in East London, was on 29 December 1962. First practice was on Boxing Day.

    However, unlike today’s packed 23-race calendar, this was only the ninth Grand Prix of the season - and it was taking place nearly three months after the previous US Grand Prix had finished with a result that set South Africa up for a fantastic title-deciding showdown.

    Just like the first Formula 1 race in Africa the second one was also the climactic end to a Grand Prix with two British drivers contesting the title to see who would take it for the first time.

    Click here to read more about the first South African Grand Prix, and the nail-biting title showdown between Graham Hill and Jim Clark.

  2. Get Involved #bbcf1

    Your predictions for today's race

    Dillz Mark: Red Bull have some advantages today but I think Sir Lewis will have back-to-back wins by the end of it.

    John Porter: My top three for the race: 1. Sergio Perez 2. Charles Leclerc 3. Pierre Gasly.

    Simon Zec: Can't wait for lights out! Go Go Go Lewis Hamilton Prediction: Perez keeps 2nd over Verstappen, Verstappen gets caught up at the start, pits early, Hamilton maintains his tyres like a god and hills on to 1st. Carnage in the midfield the Alonso benefits from Vettel crashes.

    Bold, John! Love it. We'll be having lots of drama if your prediction comes true!

  3. Chilled out

    An incredible 99th pole position of his career for Lewis Hamilton, who is chasing his 97th win today. Surely he will get to 100 in both categories really, really soon. Truly incredible.

    Fair to say he's looking pretty relaxed today.

    View more on twitter
  4. Promising signs in Imola

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

    This is looking very promising. Not just the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, after a thrilling qualifying session was decided between the top three by tiny margins, but the season as a whole.

    Three weeks after Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was comfortably the fastest car around the traction-dominated desert track in Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton snuck pole from under Red Bull’s noses by hundredths of a second.

    Just as in the race in Bahrain, it was Hamilton who made the difference. But either Red Bull driver could have been on pole - Max Verstappen if not for running wide at Tamburello; Sergio Perez making his similar mistake at Rivazza.

    “Lewis’s lap was very good,” Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said. “We have worked very hard to sort out the balance issues in Bahrain and we have made a decent step there. The drivability of the power unit has got better and the track (conditions) are very different to Bahrain so all of that played a certain factor. But if you like-for-like compare the laps, Max without the mistake would have been solidly on pole. Maybe not as much as Bahrain but he would have been there. All that gave us the pole position today.”

    Tiny margins made the difference - and it looks like it could be that way all year.

  5. 'Italy treats us well'

    It's a home race for Alpha Tauri (and Ferrari and Alfa Romeo) and Pierre Gasly was one of the stars of qualifying as he got into the top five for the second time in two races.

    He will be hoping that he can finish in the points this time after dropping to 17th in Bahrain.

    View more on twitter
  6. Provisional grid

    This is how we're set to start at 14:00 BST. Five different teams in the top six. We've waited a long, long time for this.

    How they start
  7. 'I love the challenge'

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who starts on pole position for the 99th time in his career: "I definitely didn't expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls.

    "They were quick but the car was already feeling quick this weekend. Respect to the team for their hard work to narrow down the window.

    "I love the challenge. I love having the two Red Bulls there. It's going to make strategy harder and make it a real challenge because they have great race pace.

    "I'm so happy because the first lap was really good, really clean. The second wasn't as good as the first but I'm really grateful. I came around the last corner and heard that I got the pole and was super grateful."

  8. Hamilton beats Perez to Imola pole - read the report

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton took pole position ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez in a thrilling qualifying session at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

    Hamilton was just 0.035 seconds clear in the Mercedes as Perez beat team-mate Max Verstappen in only the Mexican's second race for Red Bull.

    Charles Leclerc put the Ferrari fourth, while Valtteri Bottas was only eighth in the second Mercedes. Lando Norris went second fastest in the McLaren but had his lap time deleted for exceeding track limits and was seventh.

    It was a bitter blow for the Englishman, who had looked fast all session and appeared to have a chance of qualifying among the Mercedes and Red Bulls.

    He was no more than a foot outside the track at the fast Piratella left-hander, where countless drivers have had lap times deleted through the weekend.

    And while Hamilton being on pole might appear commonplace, it was a clear surprise to the Mercedes team judging by the exchange he had with race engineer Peter Bonnington on team radio afterwards, as both expressed incredulity at beating the Red Bulls.

  9. Post update

    We've already hinted at how good qualifying was yesterday so let's have a look back at what happened.

  10. Get Involved #bbcf1

    Your reaction to the news Miami will host F1 races and your thoughts / predictions for today's race.

    What do you think of that news? Tweet us using #bbcf1 and also tell us your hopes and predictions for today's race.

  11. Miami to hold first Grand Prix in 2022

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Miami Grand Prix logo

    Miami will hold its first Grand Prix in 2022 after Formula 1 secured a 10-year deal for a race in the Florida city.

    The move is the culmination of years of work by F1's owners Liberty Media, who wanted a race in a US "destination city" as they seek to grow the sport.

    The event will be held on a 3.36-mile track around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

    Miami becomes the second race in the US, joining the popular United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. A date for the Miami event has not yet been announced.

    F1 president and chief executive officer Stefano Domenicali said: "The US is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the US which will be further supported by this exciting second race."

  12. Thanks for joining us

    Hello and welcome along to BBC Sport's coverage of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

    I'm Michael Emons and it is my pleasure to be talking you through all the action today.

    The race gets going at 14:00 BST and as always we will have live radio commentary of all the action.

    Before we look back at qualifying and build-up to today's race, some exciting breaking news from F1...

  13. Another thriller?

    It's been a great start to the 2021 Formula 1 season. We were given a brilliant opening race in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton edging a thriller over Max Verstappen.

    And yesterday saw a cracking qualifying session with less than half a second separating the top eight. Lewis Hamilton starts on pole and it's a Red Bull alongside him with Sergio Perez second and Verstappen third.

    It is all set up to be another fantastic grand prix.

    View more on twitter